February 1994 delete
“I tell ya, Frank,” Robin Walker said, “the world's going to hell in a handbasket.”
Frank's Pizza, located east of 23rd Street and Lexington, was the favorite place for the students attending Baruch College to spend a dollar twenty-five for a slice. The place was small and only occasionally crowded. It was the Tuesday after President’s Day, and there was a clock overhead that said eleven in the morning [a digital clock I presume] Robin was reading a copy of the Daily News while nibbling on a slice of plain cheese pizza.
He hated pizza toppings. Why mess with perfection by putting something on top of something? was his favorite explanation for his preference. He had finished his morning classes and was not due [at his job?] at the 58th Street Branch Library for another three hours. Frank noticed the student was feeling very opinionated this morning. [this is a sudden change in viewpoint that switches back to Robin in the next sentence. Better to say “Robin was feeling opinionated this morning.”]
“I mean, it's 1994. We got six more years till the new millennium [well, technically seven but I won’t quibble] and God only knows if we're ready! We got terrorists trying to blow up the World Trade Center, shootings on the train out in Long Island, and the first and only Black mayor of New York City getting the boot after one term.” Robin looked up and nodded toward the flour[-]faced Italian behind the register. “You voted for Giuliani, didn't you, Frank?” he asked.
“That's none of your business!” Frank grunted.
Robin took that as a confirmation that his observations had not been appreciated.
“Hey, man, you've been reading that paper more than eating your slice!”
Robin ignored Frank's remark and continued reading the day's “Jump Start” comic strip.
“This isn't a library I hope you know!” Frank continued [you were last referring to Robin] trying to catch the young man's attention. [this seems to be an odd comment. What does Frank care? You suggested that the place wasn’t crowded so it wouldn’t be as though there were customers waiting for the seat] Robin finished reading and chuckled at the joke from the last panel or it could have been from the sense of irony in the comic strip. “I know!” [delete he bellowed.] “It ain’t a library because I work for one, chump!” The obese, balding man blinked hard while scratching his head, unsure what to make of the response. Robin knew a cue to leave when he saw one. [Frank’s response seems a little tepid to be taken as a cue for Robin to leave]
The stocky eighteen-year-old sighed, then reached down and lifted his book bag over his shoulder as he stood up to leave. The newspaper he had been reading remained where he had been sitting as he made his way out to the sidewalk. Frank called out behind him “Hey! Hey! You left your paper!” Robin turned back at the door, a mischievous smirk growing across his face. “It's not mine,” he replied. “Recycle it! Save the planet! We only got one Earth, Frank!”
At five-foot-ten, Robin’s tall strides [a stride cannot be tall. “Long” would be a better choice] on the Manhattan sidewalk maneuvered him through the vast crowd as he headed from Lexington to Park Avenue South and the subway station for the number 6 train. He wore a solid black wool parka over a gray pullover short-sleeved polo shirt along with blue acid-wash jeans. [this description seems to come out of the blue]
Personally, I would assume that bricks & mortar stores would expect a real book. They do not sell e-books and I doubt they have the time to even read a real book just to see if it's saleable. They sell books, not review them.
As to sending review copies to the media, very hard to say, really. Some like them to be accompanied by a paid-for advert as an 'incentive,' and also it's often agents and big publishers who send them a, well, a bit of a pre-written 'review.' Cynical I know, but there you go.