Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Confessions of a Bookseller

As a bookseller, I'm always just as excited when I help you find a new book to read. I'm also excited when you come back into the store and tell me just how much you loved the book--sharing the love of reading is the best part of the job. But as with any retail job, being a bookseller comes with its annoyances, especially when it comes to the expectations of the customer. After all, I should know every single book we have in the store, right?

And here we have one of the most annoying assumptions of all times. Yes, I work in a bookstore. Yes, I read a lot in my spare time and on my breaks. No, I haven't read every single thing in our store. If you ask for recommendations in a genre I don't typically read in, I'll probably point you to one of the tables on the subject or pawn you off on another bookseller. But if you ask for recommendations in my area of expertise, be ready to be showered in my happiness. I'll share all the things with you!

If I haven't read all the books in the store, you can be sure I also don't know what every book in the store looks like. So when you come into the store looking for "the red book that was on the front table three months ago," I can pull out some books with red covers, but it's going to be really difficult to find the specific book without a genre, author, or some part of the title. I'm happy to research books for you, but the more information you have, the more I'll be able to help you.

Finally, when I bring you to the book you're looking for and ask if there's anything else I could help you with, this isn't an opening for you to launch into another life story and keep me there for another 15 to 20 minutes. Especially if you can see there's a line of other customers needing help and I appear to be the only bookseller on the floor. I'm happy to converse with you about books, but please remember that this is my job and I have other customers to assist, books to put away, and phones to answer.

All in all, working as a bookseller can be extremely rewarding because I'm able to share my passion of reading with people daily. Little quirks and annoyances come with any retail job, and as long as you're aware that I'm human too, we'll get along just fine.

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