I think I speak for a not insignificant portion of the Balloon Juice community when I ask: Can I be this guy when I grow up?:
The oracle of the Strand Book Store can be found back in the fiction section wearing a name tag that reads: “Benjamin. Ask Me.”
In the 35 years that Ben McFall, 64, has managed the vast section, many customers have: for that elusive first edition, for a good poetry recommendation, for relationship advice.
“If you really need to know, you go to the Strand and ask for Ben,” said Llew Almeida, a book collector from Southport, Conn., who was part of a group of customers and staff members buzzing around Mr. McFall on Wednesday afternoon at the mammoth bookstore at Broadway and 12th Street that has a staff of more than 170 workers and an estimated two million books in its inventory.
Mr. McFall is the dean of the clerks and the institutional memory of the fiction section, where he sorts, prices and shelves hundreds of books a day. And he is often the one pulling books off the shelves for customers…
Apart from the President officially starting his second term (Washington Post: “The constitution mandates that inauguration take place on Jan. 20, but because Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday this year, a small private ceremony will be held on Sunday ahead of the public ceremony on Monday”), what’s on the agenda for the day?