Nora Picuccii looks like she was born to run a bookstore. Or a record shop. Or maybe one of those old antique places that smell like the yellowed pages of old books and the musk of even older men. A woman with an affinity for the past yet firmly rooted in the culture of today, she has balanced her love of what may seem to be the quickly disappearing brick and mortar bookstore, with the unavoidable necessity of a digital marketplace. In doing so she has helped keep Barnes & Noble in downtown San Luis Obispo a place where lovers of all things paper and digital are welcome and a cultural hub of the downtown area. So, when it came time for The Cuestonian to do our very first “Famous Last Words” column, it was clear that the place to start was with the women with all the words, first and last.
Cuestonian: Last book you read?
Nora Picucci: “The Book Thief by Markus Zusak”. It’s a truly original WWII story narrated by Death; Devastating and uplifting at the same time.
C: Last piece of advice you we’re given and from whom?
NP: I’m listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain. So, Enzo, the dog (and the narrator) gave me my last piece of advice. “Manifest that which is before you.”
C: Last piece of advice you gave and to whom?
NP: To my daughter: Treat people the way you want to be treated.
C: Last bodily fluid you found in the Barnes and Noble men’s room?
NP: Ha! You wish. The weirdest thing I’ve found in the bookstore is a human tooth… it just wasn’t in the bathroom.
C: Last Young Adult series you fell in love with?
NP: I mostly read stand-alone books but… Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows because Bean is mildly naughty and Ivy is her voice of reason, most of the time. It’s so rare to find a beginning chapter book with so much plot!
C: Last film adaptation of a book you weren’t disappointed by?
NP: Is this a trick question?
C: Last record you bought?
NP:Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits. Best road trip album of all time.
C: Last celebrity sighting in Barnes and Noble?
NP: It’s been a while… I heard Natalie Portman has come in.
C: Last time you heard someone say, “No thanks, I’ll order it on Amazon.”
NP: Today. It makes me a little sad but mostly it strengthens my resolve to run the best bookstore I can because bookstores are important, and fun, and romantic and relevant.