I’m pretty well read, right? But obviously I’m not one of those individuals who reads hundreds of books a year. I’ve also worked in a bookstore for the last 11 months. I’m aware of a great number of books and authors, whether I’ve read them or not. During the course of my work responsibilities and my own reading I still discover new books and authors on a regular basis. Which is one of the things that makes being a reader so great. It’s an established fact that as humans there will always be books we simply won’t have time to read during our lifetime. It’s interesting to see this play out every time I discover a new book or author I was previously unaware of. And sure maybe I won’t be interested in most of the books I discover through someone at my store or through a tangent internet search, but there are always plenty that fall right into my wheelhouse.
This post is meant to show how great it is to have the freedom to discover and read whatever we like. Because many people around the world do not have the ability to do so.
Do you have any stories about how you first discovered a favorite author of yours?
I recently walked inside my local Barnes and Noble for the first time in several years. And it simply isn’t the same as I remember it.
The shelves give off the impression that they don’t want to fill them. There are books faced out all over the place. There is space available on a good chunk of the shelves. And most titles had but one copy on the shelf, except for the BN Classics and Shakespeare.
Couple those things with their announcement to start serving alcohol in four new stores starting this year, and it isn’t so hard to believe the company’s financial troubles. Too many poor decisions are being made right now.
I suppose I could be overgeneralizing based on the one store I visited, but I imagine most BN stores are pretty similar.
Have you noticed anything different in your local store?
Barnes and Noble is set to start serving alcohol in four new concept stores this year. You KNOW I have thoughts on this news.
What do YOU think of this new development?
Have you ever been in a public place and a random person just feels the need to chat you up about something completely random? We all have been, right?
Well today it happened to me at the store. A customer was talking to a coworker of mine about something entirely unrelated to a bookstore. And then proceeded to do the same with me. She probably spent 10-15 minutes talking to us about random things we weren’t interested in. It was odd. And then it made me wonder if I’ve ever done that. Just gone on and on with someone who was trying to find the quickest way out. I hope not.
Ever been chatted up by a stranger in a bookstore?
I’m sure you’re thinking this is completely random, but no. See, HPB has a mascot. And it’s a bookworm, naturally. But we have it on some current bookmarks and on posters throughout the store right now. And it’s kind of scaring me. I mean, am I the only one?
I’ve worked in a bookstore for seven months now. I haven’t really been asked for anything crazy. Until Saturday. On the scale of crazy, this is only like a 2 or 3, but I was surprised when I was asked for it.
I mentioned in my last post that last week was coupon week at HPB. I’ve explained it before but here it is again. For the seven days of the week there will be a coupon for each day. Monday and Tuesday will have 20% off one item. Wednesday and Thursday will have 30% off one item. Friday and Saturday will have 40% off one item. And Sunday will be 50% off one item.
So on Saturday a customer asks me if we have any Street Fighter chess sets. I may have wrinkled my forehead. I told him no. He then asked if I could check the inventories of other stores. I honestly thought it was pointless. I’ve never heard of or seen a Street Fighter chess set, and I ran the games section for six months.
But of course there was one available to be shipped to him. It cost $100. He told me he’d be back in on Sunday to make the order and save an additional $10. I didn’t see him. I also don’t know if he bought it or not.
But in my time at HPB I’ve seen a few things that made me scratch my head. I’ve seen an auto tool kit thing. I’ve seen a mini tool kit of screws and bolts. And I’ve seen a unicorn Bluetooth speaker.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve come across in a bookstore?
I just worked my first 40 hour week ever. And I’m dead. I know what you’re thinking. That I work full time. How is this my first 40 hour week. Full time at HPB is 35 hours. And this past week was coupon week. Extra hours were available. So I worked 40. But it wasn’t your regular 40. It was two ten hour days and a nine hour day mixed in with two eight hour days. It was LONG. And it was insanely busy.
So now I’m ready to relax. For about a year. My back pain still persists and I’ve recently been assigned to a new section of the store that sees WAY more books than my old section. But it’s okay. Someone always has it worse. And honestly, I don’t even have it bad. I’m just tired. And sleepy. And I could do without seeing any more education books for a few days. Ha.
I don’t know what this is about. Just a post about nothing, I guess. No question this time around.
I’ve seen the Instagram pictures. I KNOW this is a fairly common practice. But seeing pictures and seeing it (kind of) in action are two different things. And in the time I’ve been working in a bookstore I’ve seen it a bit more than I’d have expected.
I’ve had realtors come in and say they’re decorating for an open house or model home. I’ve had people say they’re just buying them to put on their shelf for decoration.
Of course I’m not going to sit here and criticize what anyone does with their books. You’re free to do whatever you like with them just like I am. But what I DO NOT like at all is those people who REALLY decorate with books. And what I mean is when pages or covers of books are ripped off to be thrown on the wall in some complex design. Honestly, it doesn’t even look good. Looks pretty stupid to me.
Anyone can buy all the books they want just to destroy them, but I won’t be doing it. Books aren’t decoration to me. They’re entertaining. They’re stories. They’re mine.
Have you ever bought books just to use them as decoration?
Any regular reader of mine knows my position on recommending books. I don’t do it. For a number of reasons. But I work in a bookstore. You wouldn’t believe how many people make the trip without knowing what they’re looking for.
I’ve recommended some of my favorite series. I’ve recommended authors I’m only slightly familiar with. And I’ve recommended books I’ve never read before. It’s a little funny when I think about it. But I’ve done it. And now I’ve realized that I embrace the opportunity to directly influence the reading of another person. It’s always interesting to have someone tell you what they like and be able to at least give them a recommendation. They may hate it. They may not buy the book. Or they may end up loving it and returning to your store for more.
I’ll still never recommend books on here. But whenever someone asks for a recommendation at my store, well I may jump at the chance.
So I’m most likely the most literary-minded person at my store, right? I know about books, publishing, and lots of news. But I’m still only one person. And I’m still 24-years-old. I can’t possibly know EVERYTHING.
Well recently a coworker discovered a number of books I’d not heard of. Some books for young readers. I still have no idea what the books are about, but she was quite surprised when I told her I didn’t know whatever books she was asking about. And she already knows I mostly read Mr. R.L. Stine when I was younger, and she still made fun of me. 😟
Have you ever been asked about a classic and knew nothing about it?