"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking." Jerry Seinfeld


Always a Bookseller

It's only been thirteen days since I last set foot in Joseph-Beth Booksellers. I enjoyed my first week or so of unemployment: my apartment is clean, laundry caught up, and I grocery shopped for more than just one meal at a time. I revamped my portfolio, bought new dress shoes & snow boots, and followed up with businesses that were waiting for me to finish my commitment to JBB. Best of all, I found the motivation to bum around and just enjoy being out of the house and free of work-related stress.

When I'm braving the Cleveland winter weather, I've found myself drawn to bookstores. There is an extreme sense of comfort just opening the door and smelling those printed pages. JBB didn't receive shipments for seven weeks so I've been thumbing through new releases, all the while thinking, "So-and-so would have loved this." I've looked at displays that I would have loved to create, and instinctively straightened table stacks or repositioned a crooked book on a stand. I've overheard customers talking about how to spend their gift cards, and commiserated with other booksellers about the January quiet. Hours pass. Sometimes I walk out with a new book, or an old one I lost long ago. Other times I have a picture book for my Someday Box. But I always leave feeling calm, refocused, and comforted. And deciding which bookstore to hit up next.

My career at Joseph-Beth proved one thing: that I am meant to be in a bookstore. I am meant to create a literary environment for book lovers where the conversation, company, and experience is undeniably intoxicating. I am meant to merchandise, handsell, and talk to the community about literature in all of its varied forms. I want to spend forty hours a week on the bookfloor; I want to meet new authors, read new books, and learn about ereaders. I want to stay in Cleveland - we're the 14th most literate city in the country! There is opportunity here!

I've gone through a few interviews & am optimistic that something will come through shortly. I can't wait to get back in a bookstore as a full-fledged bookseller. It's already been thirteen days too long...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked for B&N for 5 years, the last in 2000 and I STILL fix displays when I go to bookstores :)