Once upon a time, I scored the best job in a bookstore.
I should start at the beginning.
When the store initially hired me, I was ecstatic. I mean, a book nerd working in a bookshop. What could go wrong?
One word: customers. They can ruin just about anything.
I started out on the floor, meaning I had to interact with customers for my entire shift.
I don’t know if this is the case for all bookshops, or stores in general, but the one where I worked had magical powers. As soon as a customer walked in, their brain checked out. All day, I’d field questions such as, “Last week I saw a book with a pink cover. Do you know where it is?” or “I left a book in the coffee shop yesterday. Where’d you put it?” My favorite: “I hate books, but my mom/girlfriend/sister loves to read. What do you suggest?”
This was not what I imagined when I applied for the job. I’d foolishly thought I would be surrounded by people who lived and breathed books and were eager to discuss them. I also thought booklovers would be kind. So not the case. One angry woman threatened to get me fired because I told her we didn’t have a book on the Red Sox winning the World Series. The team had won the previous night, clearly leaving no time to publish said book, let alone write it.
I, though, needed the job. I cajoled the back room manager into letting me join his team. The 6:00 a.m. start time was brutal, especially during the winter, but it was so worth it. For four hours of my eight-hour shift, there were absolutely zero customers. Instead, I spent the time with a team of real book lovers taking new books out of boxes and shelving them.
I had my hands on every new release before everyone else. I loved it. The difficult part was not buying all of them. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, not having money in the checking account helped curb most purchases.
Sadly, the bookstore, like so many others, shut its doors.
This hasn’t stopped my need to know about new releases. Recently, I launched the I Heart Lesfic New Releases Newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter and never miss hearing about releases from your favorite authors again. If you’re an author, get in touch.