On the back page of the New York Times Sunday Book Review is a cute-ish illustrated Q & A with various bookstore clerks in New York — “the quiet gatekeepers of literature” — wherein they ostensibly share anecdotes about the oddballs observed and oddities inherent in their job. They range from judgey (watching people circle the self-help section) to chivalrous (the clerk running down the street after a woman who left her purse behind). But! Besides the wacko looking up womens’ skirts, very little evidence seems to truly vary from the quotidian. I only note this because I remember a story my sister related to me, about one of her friends who worked in some big chain bookshop in Florida — a Borders or a Books-A-Million or the like. Said employee more often than not in a given week would catch people masturbating in the science fiction section. Draw your own conclusions there. As for New York bookstore goers, perhaps they just have a higher respect for literature. Or perhaps those “gatekeepers” aren’t as observant as assumed.