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 bookseller, Gina!
BP: How long have you been working at BookPeople?
Gina: One (long and yet also short) year!
BP: What is your favorite BookPeople memory?
Gina: This is so cheesy, but one of my most vivid memories at BookPeople is from training. I’m so used to being the one who asks too many questions because I’m trying my best to understand fully, but when I trained at BookPeople everyone was asking questions and really cared about understanding! I remember sort of smiling to myself and feeling at ease in a way I never had before.
BP: How has your job changed during the pandemic?
Gina: The long version of this answer exists on our blog! The short version is that everything is harder than it used to be, but the efforts of our teamwork are more visible. I’ve definitely gotten to know our skeleton crew pretty well. We never shared schedules to this extent before so it’s been really nice to get closer, while standing farther apart of course.
BP: What has brought you joy and comfort during 2020?
Gina: Zaina Arafat’s essay seminar. The way she talks about personal essays gave me hope. It made me see essays in a different light and reminded me that writers can truly create windows to slices of life we would never see otherwise. Being able to even glimpse what the world is through someone else’s eyes is sorely needed right now.
…and also K-Pop, queer books, and She-ra.
BP: If you could make a safe COVID pod with 2-5 literary characters, who would they be and why?
1. Harrow from Gideon the Ninth, an introvert who is good at banter and can scare people into staying six feet away with necromancy
2. Henry from Red White & Royal Blue, an introvert who is good at banter and can talk about queer historical figures for days
3. Meggie from Inkheart, an introverted bookworm who can read characters out of books so they’ll pop right into our quarantine bubble no problem
4. Gideon from Gideon the Ninth, she’s a chaotic choice but I feel like she’d enjoy Animal Crossing. Every group needs balance
5. Kelp from Not Quite Narwhal, for cuddles and taking cute pictures of
BP: What would your favorite literary character be doing during a pandemic?
Gina: Can I choose Jane Austen for this? Is that cheating? I thought about choosing one of her characters but let’s be real, it’s all about Jane haha. She’d definitely be writing and reading her stories aloud to her family for feedback and then she’d be editing and I wish I could start a writing workshop with her.
BP: What’s your go-to feel good show or movie?
Gina: A Knight’s Tale. Jousting, comedy, romance, Heath Ledger, Jocelyn’s anachronistic costuming. Plus the music of Bowie, Queen, and AC/DC. It has everything. The Chaucer adaptation no one (except for Brian Helgeland) knew we needed.
BP: If you could only eat one thing what would it be?
Gina: My grandpa’s pasta carbonara. No one makes it like he does. Not even me, though I try.
Stay tuned and join us here later this week to learn more about booksellers featured in this year’s holiday catalog!