After I quit my job last year I went to work in a
used bookstore. Working in a bookstore is like no other
job in the world.
Time is a lot longer when you
work in a bookstore.
I think there must be eighty or ninety minutes in an hour.
You can get so much done and still have long and leisurely
conversations with the
gorgeous, well-read Goth girl
that comes in on her lunch hour. Yet, paradoxically,
although time is longer, it's also faster.
Those eighty or ninety minutes zip by when you're straightening
and pretty soon it's six o'clock and it's time to close up shop.
And you can play games with customers by tricking them
into buying the books of your favorite authors
("Oh, yeah, Kathy Acker is a lot like Danielle Steele.
Very easy reading. Very accessible.")
and even if they don't like the book you suggest, they
never complain because they're afraid that they're missing
something and that they'll end up looking stupid.
And it's just plain fun to talk about books. You can talk
about the books you've read, the
books you're reading,
and the books you want to read. And since books cover every
conceivable subject you never know what the conversation
will veer into. Talking about books is much better than
talking about the weather.
I miss working in a bookstore.
1Another cool thing about working in a bookstore
is that reading is actually part of the job (although not as big
a part as I would like) because you really need to be well and widely
read to help the customers.