Holiday Catalog 2020: Tomoko’s Favorite Book!

The BookPeople Holiday Catalog—our annual year-in-review publication—is here and, like most things in 2020, it’s gone virtual for the occasion! And while you can’t hold a physical copy this season, there’s still plenty to enjoy about it!

This year’s theme, This Is My Favorite Book…of the Pandemic highlights the titles our booksellers found comfort in during a year that was anything but. You’ll find them among the gorgeous spreads and loads of other stellar books and gifts we’ve discovered and loved in 2020—enough to complete those shopping lists for the holidays! To enhance the virtual experience, today we’re kicking off a limited series of features spotlighting the booksellers that made it into the catalog. They’ll be telling you a little bit about their favorite book and themselves.

Next up is BookPeople’s Graphic Designer and Art Wizard, Tomoko!


My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano, Ill. by Jillian Tamaki

Bookseller Q&A

Q: How long have you been working at BookPeople?

Tomoko: 6 years and 9 months! 

Q: What is your favorite BookPeople memory?

Tomoko: I have so many great memories at BookPeople, it’s hard to pick a “favorite”! I think my favorite is when I would work an author event, and the crowd would buzz so much you could feel the happy, excited energy radiating in the air; like when Jason Segel came on Halloween for his middle grade book Nightmares and everyone was in costume, or when Angie Thomas performed Bri’s rap from On the Come Up–the air was electric.

Q:  How has your job changed during the pandemic?

Tomoko: Since I create marketing graphics for the store, I’ve been working from home. Which means I’m spending a lot more time with my pup, Alice!

Q: What has brought you joy and comfort during 2020?

Tomoko: Reading, for sure! Especially fantasy stories with characters empowered to fight back against things so much bigger than themselves. And ice cream. 

Q: If you could make a safe COVID pod with 2-5 literary characters, who would they be and why?

Tomoko: Any of the cooks from Brian Jacques Redwall series, because we would have all the best food, but specifically Friar Hugo or Goody Stickle! And probably any of David Arnold’s characters, but especially Kit from his upcoming Electric Kingdom, because he already knows how to quarantine well and loves art and books as much as I do, so I feel we could keep each other sane. 

Q: What would your favorite literary character be doing during a pandemic?

Tomoko: How can you ask me to choose a favorite?? Well, one of them, Angelina Ballerina, would probably be learning a valuable lesson about patience and imagination while writing her own ballet and practicing her pointe technique! OR …Raistlin would be social-distancing (obviously), and figuring out which maleficent deity was responsible for the pandemic so that he could somehow take their place and gain their power…

Q: What’s your go-to feel good show or movie?

Tomoko: Most Studio Ghibli movies, actually; but I love Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.

Q: If you could only eat one thing what would it be?

Tomoko: Cheese! But actually, since I live so far away I always miss my mom’s cooking. So if I could eat just one thing, it would be her (fake, because I don’t eat meat) chicken enchiladas (which have a lot of cheese in them).


Check out the rest of our holiday catalog for more bookseller Q&As, 50th Anniversary memories, holiday shopping recommendations, and more! Titles mentioned in this post are also available for purchase in-store and online today! You can also browse our Catalog displays in-store.

Stay tuned and join us here later this week to learn more about booksellers featured in this year’s holiday catalog!

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