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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Life in a Bookstore

     Almost every week that I've worked at the Blue Marble (8 years now), I've had a customer come in and tell me that "it's their dream to own/work at a bookstore someday." I smile and nod.
     They go on to say, "It must be great being surrounded by all these books and getting the chance to read them whenever you want." I smile and nod, again.
     Why do I do just this? Because telling the truth would not convince them otherwise. They really believe this is the life a bookstore owner/employee -- especially the small, indie kind.
     But the truth is, in 8 years I've read one book inside the walls of this store. That's right. One. And it wasn't even a full book, just the last three chapters of a EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS (and then I had to try to pull myself together in case customer came in).
     Most bookstore people don't read in store. (Nor do librarians.)
     I do read. At home. The pile of books on my dining room table, my nightstand, and in my car can attest to that. And while I end up loving so many of those books, I rarely look at those ever-growing piles with affection. They are constant reminders of how much work I have to do.
     Some books stay on my pile for a long time. For instance, I finally got around to Life of Pi. It got moved up because my son was reading for his AP English class and wanted to talk about it. When a book is read is really dependent on why I need to read it: One of my favorite authors. A friend's book. The author is visiting the store. I just won a major award.
     It's all part of the job. And it's a valuable part of what I do. When a customer comes in and asks, "I've been hearing about this book, have you read it or do you know anything about it?", I can smile and nod.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave,

    I read books similarly to you. I've got piles PLUS I've got about 90 books in my "to read" list on Goodreads. Books I've heard about at conferences or from other writers/authors. I like to read books that my kids read for school too. Also books that are getting lots of buzz or are billed as being similar to books I read and liked.

    Anyhow, I am also writing to inform you that you are Winner #8 in the Swagger Swag Giveaway. You can see the prizes already selected on our homepage. The Swagger Swag Giveaway post in October lists the other prizes you can choose from. E-mail me at to let me know which prize you've selected.

    BTW, I've added your blog to our blog list. A great resource!