On Tipping your Local Bookstore Owner

Often when you go into a coffee shop or a … I can’t think of another example so let’s go with another coffee shop, they have those little jars which very politely or humorously ask for a tip. I have thought about those a few times since I undertook the task of bookstore ownership. It would be strange to see such a jar in a bookshop. Although it kind of makes sense, after all a cup of coffee is only good for the ten minutes or so that you are drinking it. Having a good book recommended or finding a book you have been searching for brings a joy that can last for much longer. The point is, I do not have a tip jar nor do I have any intention of getting one and yet every once in a while I find myself being tipped.

Today is a beautiful day. A proper August…it’s September now…I think I missed a month. A proper early September wishing it was still August day. The sun is shining, it’s maybe not hot but definitely very warm out and there is a general feeling of happiness floating around with the dust moats in the beams of sun light pouring into the shop. A lovely woman came in toting some one dollar books and an armload of good vibes, which she generously heaped upon me. She spent three dollars and paid with a five. I tried to give her her change but she refused simply saying, “have a lovely day, buy yourself a cold drink.”

I was left sitting in the shop holding up a twoonie that did not rightfully belong to me and looking at the mess of good vibes she’d left scattered about the place. This is not a common occurrence but in the past almost full year it has happened to me at least four times (that’s eight bucks!). So I just want to say, to all the customers who have ever seen fit to tip their local bookstore owner, or any small business owner for that matter, I love you.

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