This Saturday, April 30th, is Independent Bookstore Day. In honor of this wonderful day (honoring us!), we thought we’d give you some of our favorite reasons for being your booksellers.
We love being your booksellers. Those conversations on the floor about the newest and greatest novel, those 800-strong author events, those packed puppet show storytimes–they bring so much joy to us, your independent bookstore.
So, from all of us, thank you. You’re the best. We hope you feel the same way about us.
Merrilee, BookKids Assistant Inventory Manager:
“It’s kind of scary, but in a good way, the number of times I’ve said to a customer at a storytime, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while,’ and they tell me, ‘Yeah, that’s because little Charlie is in 5th grade, now.’ Also, my son is 31 years old, and except for a handful of college textbooks, he’s never had to pay full retail price to read a book in his life. He’s read thousands upon thousands of books, and those pennies add up.”
Thomas, Master Bookseller (And Merrilee’s Son):
“The best part of being a bookseller is when you see a customer for the second time. That’s when you see their eyes light up talking about how much they enjoyed reading the book you sold them last time. Watching little kids cry if they don’t get a book is kind of awesome; watching an old couple come in for the latest book of an author they’ve been reading together for years is great; but there’s nothing quite like watching someone describe just how much they loved a book that you recommended. That’s bookselling: sharing the love you have for books, and watching other people come to love them too.”
Abby, Marketing Director:
“One of the many things that is special about independent bookstores is the wonderful personal interactions we get to have with customers who come back time and time again. We have customers who come in regularly and ask for specific booksellers whose taste they like, and they take our recommendations really seriously. As an indie bookseller you know you get to really impact what someone is reading and help them find a book that is a good match for them.”
Demi, Kids Event & Marketing Coordinator:
“I’ve worked for independent bookstores for almost a decade, and after nine years, it’s impossible to pick a favorite memory. I worked an event with T.A.Barron, the author of one of my favorite novels as a young adult, and when I nervously confessed to him how important the Heartlight books were to me, he laughed and gave me a huge hug. I felt welcomed into this wonderful world of books, like I belonged to a strange secret society. Now, of course, I work events with authors I admire fairly often. The thrill, however, never goes away. I feel like a guardian of great reading, the person to whom friends and family turn for advice on what world to dive into next. It is truly a gift to be in the company of independent booksellers, because we champion authors and readers alike. I couldn’t have picked a better career.”
Sarah, Internet Orders Manager:
“Working at an independent bookstore means I am literally at my favorite place, all the time. I’m surrounded by people who share my passion, not just for reading, but for talking about what they’ve read and how it affects them. I can’t think of a more safe or enjoyable place to be, or people to be around, to discuss ideas and expand my world view than at an independent bookstore.”
“If you want to live a magical life, you should work at an indie bookstore. You’ll meet people who become true friends, authors who inspire you, and you’ll read so many books that you never would have read before. Being here at BookPeople makes every day wonderful. Working at an independent bookstore is the best job a girl like me could ask for.”
R, French Exchange Intern:
“In my studies, I’ve learned a lot about the bookselling world, in France and abroad. And we’re trained to be booksellers, but more specifically (not explicitly but also not implicitly either) independent booksellers. Independent bookstores have a rich history in France, what with the Lang law of 1981 that quite literally kept big chains of cultural stores and department stores from taking over the book market (it’s long to explain). There are no booksellers in the book section of a department store. It’s hard to find a bookseller in a Fnac store (La Fnac is a big cultural chain. It’s French-based. And it owns your Kobo. Heh.). So independent bookstores are under less pressure than in America, I feel, but it’s still hard. It’s still hard to compete with Amazon (we were also trained to hate Amazon, and I’m only half kidding.). It comes down to this: indie bookstores have a heart, and that heart is people. Us. Independent booksellers. Because of course we’re there because we love books and we want to share that love. We know how people who read feel and that’s why we can help them. Helping to spread the wonders and the simplicity of reading by conversing with customers – fellow book lovers – is what we’re for. We have a brain and emotions, not an algorithm or a centralized buyer for hundreds of cookie cutter stores. I’m the opposite of a social person, but I love talking with customers in indie bookstores, because I love helping people by doing what I do best: talking about books.”
So thank you, BookPeople Nation, for being our wonderful, wonderful customers. We love you more than words can say. Get out there and enjoy your Independent Bookstore Day. Thanks for being a part of our family.