Life’s a Sitcom… For the Shop Dogs

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Did you see the interview Ann Patchett did with the American Booksellers Association last week, where she said working in a bookstore is “like being in a sitcom”? It’s true, although what you probably didn’t know is that she’s not talking about the human booksellers. She’s talking about us, the shop dogs of Parnassus Books.

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Quote of the day on Shelf Awareness!

If you want to get specific about it, you’ll find that we’re very much like the gang on Friends. Think about it: Six of them, six of us. Half guys, half gals. Great chemistry, distinctive personalities, and a convenient place where everyone hangs out. Just substitute our bookstore for Central Perk, and you can see it, can’t you? Who’s who? Well . . .

Ross = Opie

Like Ross Geller, PhD, Opie has a certain gravitas, a little more maturity than his cohorts. Ross loved books about dinosaurs, and so does Opie. Plus, just look at the strong brow and hairline on these two. Practically twins!

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 * * *

Chandler = Sparky

Lovable, friendly, and could he be more adorable? Everyone’s got a little crush on Sparky. (Admit it: You had a thing for Chandler. Maybe you still do.)

Remember when Chandler admitted that The Velveteen Rabbit was his favorite book, so Monica tried to rent him a Velveteen Rabbit costume, but the costume shop only had pink? It takes a confident guy to pull off so much cuteness.

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 * * *

Joey = Bear

If you’ve ever gotten a “How you doin’?” look from Bear as you walk in the shop, you understand why he’s always posted at the front door. He’s all smooth, gentlemanly charm. He’s our Joey, obviously.

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How YOU doin’?

And like Joey (who correctly guessed The Unbearable Lightness of Being in a game of Pictionary), Bear often surprises us with the depth of his literary knowledge.

 * * *

Monica = Belle

Belle likes things just so: her toys under the stock table, her lunchtime walk between 12-12:30 p.m. every day, and the noise in the store at a tolerable level. Sound like a certain someone? Like Monica, Belle is quick to rush in whenever someone needs help. If you’ve ever dropped a book or made some sort of troublesome sound in the store, Belle has probably come galloping out from the back office to check on you.

Belle likes things organized neatly (OK, maybe she’s a tiny bit of a control freak), but she has a goofy side that comes out every now and then.

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 * * *

Rachel = Mary Todd Lincoln

At the start of the series, Rachel shows up and joins the rest of the pals, and before long it’s as if they’ve been hanging out together forever, just as Mary Todd Lincoln joined the crew of shop dogs and instantly made herself at home. Rachel moved in with Monica; MTL moved into the back office with Belle. It all lines up.

Rachel looked great with a book in her hand, although she wasn’t actually much of a reader. (Remember when she went to an adult literature class but refused to read the books, so Phoebe tricked her into thinking Jane Eyre was about cyborgs?) Her hair was always impeccable, too. . . just like someone else we know.

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 * * *

Phoebe = Eleanor Roosevelt

Unlike the others, Phoebe didn’t live in the same apartment building. Like book-beagle Eleanor Roosevelt, she was a bit of a kooky outlier, but she nonetheless adored her friends and was always up for a weird adventure or just lounging around. Phoebe was known for her songwriting, including her big hit, Smelly Cat, a tune we’ve heard Eleanor Roosevelt howl from time to time.

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And much like Eleanor Roosevelt, who memorably dashed out the shop door into four lanes of traffic and was then fired for misbehavior promoted to a prestigious work-at-home social media position, Phoebe was known for her distinctive manner of running.

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Just remember our shop dog theme song:

We’ll be there for you
(When you need your bookstore)
We’ll be there for you
(Sitting here on the floor)
We’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for us tooOOOOooo)

Come hang out sometime, friends! There are lots of great events on our calendar this fall.

Love,
The shop dogs