Every month, our staff chooses one Employee of the Month to recognize for their outstanding work at the store. We thought we’d share these questionnaires that are put on a display in the store with all of you so you can get to better know our booksellers. This month we recognized the Elizabeth Barbee, one of our booksellers, who never ceases to amaze us with her hard work and good attitude. Next time you come by the store, chat with her about what she’s reading!
How long have you worked at BookPeople?
Since June of last year.
What is your favorite thing about working here?
I love seeing what’s being published.
What five fictional characters would you invite to a dinner party?
Holden Caulfield because I want to tell him, “It gets better with age.” I feel like he really needs to hear that. I’d fill the rest of the seats with a few characters from Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History.” Everyone in that book is so evil and chic. Our meal would be thrilling and luxe.
What book will you continue to reread throughout your life?
I don’t do a lot of purposeful rereading because there’s so much on my list and so little time! However, every so often, I read a few pages of something and think, “Wait a minute! This sounds familiar!”
What is something that is guaranteed to make you laugh?
I’m going with a who instead of a what. Mitch Hedberg. He had the best, most clever jokes.
What would be your first buy if you won the lottery?
As anyone who has seen them will attest, I need a new pair of Birkenstocks. Mine look like chew toys at this point. I’ll buy a new pair eventually, but winning the lottery would expedite the process. I’d also buy a plane ticket to somewhere I want to visit, like Tokyo. I’d splurge on a nice hotel. (To me, a nice hotel is one that provides bathrobes for the duration of your stay.)
You have a time machine and one week to spend in any historical era. Where/when would you go?
New York City in the 1960s. I’d visit Andy Warhol’s Factory and be deeply upset if Edie Sedgwick weren’t there.
Who would you like to be cast as you in a movie about yourself?
Kate McKinnon because she’s a master of imitation. I would trust her interpretation of me completely. I’d be like, “Oh, so THAT’S how other people see me.” It would be super informative.
What was your favorite book as a child? What’s your favorite book in this very moment?
As a kid, I liked Nancy Drew. She was a talented and hardworking detective. I still admire both her passion and competence.
Right now, I’m reading The Idiot by Elif Batuman which came out in March. It’s so fresh and playful. Batuman is the kind of writer who will influence other writers.