Meet the Bookseller with Lou Fulco

Lou Fulco admits to a love of foreign crime shows and gives advice on how to return a DVD with bite marks in it. (Be very angry…)


Why do you work in books?

I actually came to Readings as a music and DVD specialist. Readings was the place that I used to buy many of my books from prior to that, so the marriage was a bonus.

Name a book/film/album that has changed the way you think.

Every book I’ve read, every CD I love and every movie I cherish changes me in some way or another. A passage or a line or a hook in a song has the ability to make me want to do the same. I haven’t written the great novel or screenplay or song but every day is a new day, every experience is one step closer. Who knows?

What have you noticed people buying lately?

Lots and lots of books, CDs and DVDs. See, the world as we know it has NOT ended yet! Those Mayans can’t get anything right.

What’s the strangest experience you’ve had in a bookshop?

Many years ago, working in a music store, I was confronted by a very angry man who wanted to return a DVD that had bite marks and saliva on the case. When I told him that his dog had bitten it and I wouldn’t take it back he got angry, to say the least, telling me that it was only the case that was damaged. When I opened the case to find the disc had also been bitten I laughed and told him in no uncertain terms that I was not taking the disc back. This angry little man lost the plot. My boss at the time made me give him his money back (not so much because he was so angry but probably because she thought I might belt him) but not until I had told him subtly that I would not have him in the store again.

(NB. This story has been cleaned up for the reader).

What’s the best experience you’ve had in a bookshop?

Whenever someone comes in wanting to chat about something that I also like usually makes my day. I find these customers are open to recommendations. I also find they can have a surprise or two that I haven’t seen or heard or read about before. One such customer is Jan Grant. Our conversations about foreign crime shows have been known to be lengthy.

What’s the best book/film/album you’ve read/watched/listened to lately and why?

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne is about the rise and fall of the Comanche Nation and of Quanah Parker, their last and greatest chief. Fascinating.

I watched Looper recently and really liked the story, plus that fact that it left me with no questions to ask because all had been answered. Very rare for a movie today, and even more so for one with futuristic elements.

I’ve also been listening to some Justin Townes Earl. He knows how to write a song that boy, just like his dad.

What was your favourite book as a kid?

I always remember books around as my mum was such a big reader (and still is). I remember a lot of Little Golden Books, as well as The Magic Faraway Tree and The Enchanted Wood.

But, for different reasons, the books that I seem to remember most is Well, Really, Mr. Twiddle! by Enid Blyton (I recall he was always eating kippers) and Josh by Ivan Southall (city kid moves to country Victoria and can’t quite fit in).

I also still have all my Hardy Boys books that I had as a child. All that detective work with not a mobile phone or computer in sight. Happy days!

What’s your favourite book, film or album of all time and why?

Favourite book is probably The World According to Garp by John Irving. His style is unique in that he puts me right into the heart of his stories. His humour is also left of centre, much like mine. Never have I laughed out loud in public as much as I have with this book.

Favourite albums are probably Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Santana’s Abraxas. I can’t decide! Don’t make me, please don’t make me. All different moods but all powerful for different reasons.

As far as movies go, I will watch anything. I have been watching some old westerns lately, of which Red River and The Searchers stand out as wonderful for different reasons. I am also partial to the four-hour print of Dances With Wolves. I love the cinematography, the soundtrack and the story.

But hey, that’s just this week!