Wednesday, September 8, 2010

one year :)

The life of a bookseller is like a magnetic poetry set. I know the day will involve words, but which ones and in what order has always yet to be arranged. No phrase (or day) is identical. It keeps things interesting that way.

I have been a bookseller for about four years now, and one year ago today I began working at the Booksmith. When I worked at Hearthside Books in Alaska, I could never really answer what I wanted to do after I completed my Masters in Children's Writing at Simmons College. What did I want to do at the time besides write children's books? Stay in the bookstore. But is that what some one with a Master's degree should do? NO, people would say. You should do something more worthwhile with your talents. But the minute I stepped back into the book store life here, after one year in the publishing industry, it was like coming home. Unlike many other jobs out there, I literally use my degree every day. And, it's so amazing to hear customers telling others, "She gives great recommendations for kids' books. Ask her."

Book selling is not a lazy job nor is it standing behind a cash register all day. My brain is constantly working with shelving books into a giant Tetris puzzle (more commonly known as the shelves that have a specific order to them), speaking with customers and unraveling the mystery about which book they saw on display two months ago about animals... (it was the Chicken Thief), what book would be good for a reluctant reader who is trapped in the world of television, what book would be challenging for a ten year old who can read a 200 page book in one sitting, and much more. Of course there are days when I'd rather hide in a box in the back and read, especially when overly demanding persons come in, when it's so loud in the kids' section I want to go ask for ear plugs, or when my allergies invade my insides, but alas.... Though, I am well stocked in books -- new and old -- for when I am not on the clock.

Over this past year, I've also been exploring the world of book buying. Learning from our fabulous book buyers and publisher reps has been an amazing experience. It's always an interesting puzzle to be constantly thinking: would our customers enjoy this? A few books don't make it and are returned to the publisher to seek out a home elsewhere. Others turn into favorites and it's a marathon just to keep them on the shelves.

Do I love my job? Absolutely! The best part? Introducing new books to readers, kids telling me about their favorite books, and customers asking for me because I gave a friend of a friend the perfect recommendation -- it's the appreciation there and presenting something that is highly worthwhile.

1 comment:

CoffeeShopBloggers said...

I love your bookstore! You have the best books! I have spent many an hour there when I lived in Boston. Now I hang out in your Wellesley store.

Pragmatic Mom

(my google account is attached to my group blog on seo)