Monday, June 21, 2010


A little known fact about Booksmith is that we incubate literary and artistic talent.  I'm reminded of that again as two of our own leave us for a big step forward in their careers.  One is going to a created-for-her position at Scholastic Publishing in New York.  The other is to be a staff writer at the Boston Phoenix, also a job created for her.  They are far from the first to do so.  Through nearly 50 years of existence, Booksmith has counted among its booksellers numerous future authors and people who've gone on to all aspects of the publishing and writing worlds.  

Besides those who leave, often for New York or San Francisco or Chicago,   we nurture those who make bookstore life a career. Whether the stellar book buyer, author event director, newsletter writer, store designer, children's book expert - to name a few - some find their venue for growth in knowledge and expertise right here with us.   There is great dedication and passion in that.

Bookstores do tend to attract such talented, bookish people.  At an indpendently owned and operated store such as ours, everything is done on site.  And stores like ours are complicated places to keep afloat.  There are hundreds of pieces to our jigsaw puzzle, if you will.  It can feel almost impossibly intense at times.  The image of a sleepy place where there is much reading and discussion of literature all day long is quite the myth.

All of this to say, there is opportunity to discover what you like best about the business here.    There is room to learn about yourself - your talents, your dreams, your ambitions.   It is quite amazing to watch this unfold time and time again.  That's not to say I don't grumble about having to find yet another replacement for the departing one.  And maybe some of those folks feel they've succeeded in spite of the more mundane aspects of bookstore life.  But I know, without a doubt, that we have sent dozens of young people in the direction of their lives.   I really love that.

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