The criticism of the blue-collar bookseller: First Blood | Comments

The bleeding is not new. We’ve all done it, and if you’re making a living from your own hands, there’s a good chance you’ve done it at work. I have. When I was working in the technical ceramics division, I cut my palm with fired tiles.

I threw boxes of broken tiles. I didn’t notice any broken pieces at the bottom. Soon my cupped hand was filled with blood. I was new to my shift and didn’t want to bother the supervisor, but the injury required treatment.

I ended up needing several stitches, but I was ready to move on to the next shift. I already had blood in my new job. It was just a paper cut. I work a lot with cardboard boxes and it is not always easy on the hands. Fortunately, I didn’t even need a bandage. Just a small bandage to keep dirt out.

It reminds me of my next suggested reading for the break room, David Morrell’s First Blood. Do I mean like the movie Rambo? Yeah, I mean like the Rambo movie, or at least the first one.

First Blood, like many great movies, comes from a great book. Yes, before the long-haired young man became legend, came the critically acclaimed story of John Rambo, a book filled with character, compassion and action.

John Rambo, a Vietnamese vet, is harassed by a small town cop who doesn’t know who he’s dealing with – nor how far Rambo will take him in a fight for life or death across the hills of Kentucky rural.

Kentucky? Yes, the book is set in Kentucky. If you are one of the millions of people who have seen the movie, you should know that it is set somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, in Washington state I think. In any case, the film is great. I remember seeing him for the first time with my father, and I’ve seen him since. He’s holding up.

I decided to read the book. I know David Morrell is an award winning writer. He wrote the book that inspired the film. I’ve always loved the movie, but would the book be good?

The book is better. There’s all the action in the movie, but there’s more. You learn more about the sheriff. In the movie, he’s kind of an asshole. He started something with someone who should have been left alone.

In the book, it’s more double-sided. You can read more from the sheriff’s point of view. Is he still a jerk? Yes, but you understand it better and for me it was worth reading. It gave me a better insight into the man without taking me out of the story.

The book also has a different ending than the movie. I don’t give anything. Read it yourself. It’s still a good ending. This was where the story had to end. Anyway, grab the book and some popcorn and watch the movie again. Don’t put your greasy hands on my book.

Return to Work Tip: If you are injured on the job, let your supervisor know, even if you don’t need stitches. This covers both you and your employer. It should be in your employee handbook that you signed off when you received it, but probably haven’t read it yet.

Kevin Coolidge is currently a full-time factory worker and part-time bookseller at From My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. When he’s not working, he writes. He is also a children’s author and creator of The Totally Ninja Raccoons, a children’s series aimed at reluctant readers. Visit his author site at

Our content is free, but our journalists work hard. 100% of your contribution to goes directly to helping us cover important news and events in our area. Please say local news matters!

Elizabeth J. Harless