Thursday, April 17, 2008

HNT - Da Count - Getting Wilde

Given that it's so late on Thursday and that it's been yet another crazy busy week I thought it might be appropriate to merge my weekly HNT and Da Count posts into one. It's particularly fitting this week too.

This past week I took a quick trip to Edmonton, Alberta to the University of Alberta bookstore to visit my colleagues and friends from that store, Todd, Wayne and Paul. I met these fine gentlemen through such great organizations as the CCRA (Canadian Campus Retail Association) and CSC (Campus Stores Canada).

The U of A bookstore guys are a pretty fine bunch of dudes, hospitable, professional and progressive in their approach to academic bookselling -- yet despite all their hard work and dedication to the job, they're lively, energetic and a heck of a lot of fun.

And while it has felt as if I've known them for years, we haven't worked together for all that long. Paul Wilde, Textbook Manager/Buyer/Renaissance Man and I were talking about the first time we'd met, which was no more than one year ago. We quickly developed a relationship quite like Spike and Chester from the Looney Tunes cartoons. ("Hey Spike, we're pals, huh Spike? Whattaya wanna do today, Spike? Wanna chase cars? Huh, Spike?") Along along those lines, I've learned a ton about the academic book world from Paul and Todd and Wayne.

These are the brilliant gents behind the only Espresso Book Machine in Canada (one of only 7 in the world), for instance (which was the reason of my visit) -- with this machine in their bookstore, they've not only been able to help create cheaper textbook solutions for their students, but also boosted their general book business with their ability to print one of hundreds of thousands of out of print and public domain books right in their store within about 5 minutes. I was visiting the store because we're looking at getting one of these machines for the bookstore at McMaster.

So, in a nutshell my HNT pictures this week are from my trip to visit the cool dudes at U of A bookstore which also happens to be what I'm counting this week -- the great friends and colleagues I've made since moving to the academic side of bookselling less than 2 years ago.

Paul Wilde and I posing in front of the Espresso Book Machine

Check out the hilarious looks on our faces as we suck in our guts for this shot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A great "twofer", Mark. OK... I'm also loving the idea of this Espresso Book Machine. So, are you guys getting one?