Turn off your ipod, dig up your record player, and read this!

Posted in Favorite Books at 9:02 pm by Janet

I wish I could say I could have identified with Allie, the heroine of Vinyl Princess, but let’s face it, I was never that cool. Allie works at Bob & Bob Records on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. She’s got a huge collection of vinyl, she’s a walking music encyclopedia, and she’s got the vinyl/music blog to prove it. She’s the sort of person I would have tried really hard to impress with my purchases once upon a time.

But Allie doesn’t feel as cool as she really is. She’s got an unrequited crush on a mysterious customer; her recently-split parents are developing their own, possibly sketchy, love lives; and she’s afraid to sign her anonymous blog. Plus Bob & Bob isn’t doing the business it used to, and stores on laid-back Telegraph Avenue is being targeted by armed robbers. Over the course of a summer, Allie tries to manage her love life, get used to her new family situation, keep the record store open, and own up to her coolness.

My favorite section reminds me of working in the library: Allie is helping a customer who doesn’t realize that the Frank Zappa records are under Z (duh). “Should I have taken him by the hand and led him over to the Zappa? No. I won’t spoon-feed the customers. If you don’t know your alphabet, you have no business leaving your house, let alone shopping for premium music.”  I feel the same way sometimes (except that some of my patrons are, like, one, and I probably shouldn’t give them a hard time about not knowing the alphabet).

Check out the book’s website/Allie’s blog: http://www.thevinylprincess.com/

Somebody on the blog called this a High Fidelity for teens. I have to admit that High Fidelity is one of my favorite [adult] books, mostly because of its insights into the inscrutible minds of music guys. Note I say guys. Doesn’t matter if the book is about teens–this one’s for the geeky music ladies, who deserve their moment in the spotlight, too. Author Yvonne Prinz knows what she’s talking about. She founded this place: http://www.amoeba.com/

The one thing I didn’t like was the cover. Headphones? Smacks of the i-pod age. I feel like the designers could have done something more with, you know, actual records.


  1. Ann P said,

    March 1, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Dad had headphones in the 60s. I think they’re still around if you want them.

  2. Bridget said,

    March 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Yay for geeky music ladies in the spotlight!

    I am pretty sure that the Film Girl equivalent of Allie was working at the DVD rental place in Berkeley when we lived there. I can’t remember what street the place was on, possibly Telegraph? but it reeked of coolness (and geekiness) and everything was organized by director instead of genre.

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