Yesterday evening, my son Alexander joined me in setting up a book display in the lobby area where author Michael Adams was going to be doing a talk regarding Canadian multiculturalism. His latest book Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism is a "good news story" which argues that immigration and the social diversity that flows from it are working well in many respects. It doesn't claim that things are perfect (ie, that Canada is free of racism or discrimination), but is an optimistic take on a society that is doing a decent job at something no one has tried before.
Michael was a great speaker, fascinating to listen to, and it was a well received event. All in all, the campus group that organized it (McMaster Muslims for Peace and Justice) pulled off a great event.
Despite all the high brow and intellectual discussion that evening, the highlight in my mind was just after we had finished building our book display in the front lobby. Alexander was right into it, helping to pile up the books like they were giant thin lego blocks. He'd been looking forward to it all day.
And once we finished, he quite proudly stood behind the high desk, just his head peeking over the counter and asked everyone who walked by if they liked our book display. He would then immediately ask them if they would like to buy a book.
Ever the avid bookseller (like his father, I suppose), when author Michael Adams arrived and greeted us, Alexander proceeded to proudly show him the display and asked him if he wanted to buy one of the books.
And for a moment, I thought he just might. That's just how persuasive my little boy can be. But instead he gave Alexander a huge grin and said that he already had one and that he was the guy who wrote the book. Alexander's eyes opened up in amazement at that.
And thus, my son, the avid bookseller, learned one of the fringe benefits of working in my job: Getting to meet really cool authors all the time.