Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Out-of-Town Booksellers

In a week, an old co-worker of mine will be visiting Boston for the first time.  I first met her when she was seventeen and still settling on her combination between sweet and surly, and even though her name is Krysten I found it prudent and appropriate to attach the 'baby' bit and affectionately call her Baby Krysten, or BK for short. We worked together at another indie bookstore, and as much as I'm looking forward to seeing her face, I'm also interested to see what she thinks of the Booksmith.

Watching booksellers move around a bookstore they're visiting is fascinating.  They walk in, searching the shelves for the section that is their specialty.  They peruse the shelf with a critical eye, murmuring, "I've read that, it was really good," "I loved that one!" and "Avoid." They'll engage you in discussion, asking about particular shelving details and examining the shelf-talkers, roaming the store to see how everything flows and what sections are put together.  Booksellers, having experienced repeated section moves and have the muscles and eye rolling to prove it, understand the entire process behind putting particular sections together and are interested in why science and sports are near one another.  Spend 30 minutes with a touring bookseller (it's impossible to spend less than thirty minutes with one, inevitably the conversation will stretch and you will be loathe to return to the job at hand) and the two of you will have doubly long to-read lists and a burning desire to visit more bookstores. 

I hope she'll like visiting the Booksmith.  I hope she'll like walking around Boston, taking the T, and seeing what the city has to offer.  I also hope she won't mind when I go into frantic Mom-mode by repeatedly asking her if she's wearing enough layers.

Can't wait to see you, BK. 

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