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. Looking for Kids-specific recommendations? We made our lists for ages 0-18 easier to browse on their own page, which you can find here!
Next up is Bookseller Olivia O, who loved Gene Luen Yang’s latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops!
BP: How long have you been working at BookPeople?
Olivia: I have been working at BookPeople for a year, since last holiday season.
BP: What is your favorite BookPeople memory?
Olivia: There have been so many fun interactions with visiting authors. I think my favorite author visit so far was in early 2020, when we hosted a panel of 3 YA authors (Isabel Ibañez, Adrienne Young, Shea Ernshaw). They were all so inspiring, funny, and engaging!
BP: How has your job changed during the pandemic?
Olivia: While we were closed to the public, I spent every shift racing around the store collecting books to fulfill our online orders. I really missed talking to customers, because that’s one of my favorite parts of the job. Now that our doors are open, we’re getting to interact with the public again, but in a slightly different way. On the bright side, I can tell you the exact location of any tiny sub-section on the shelves now!
BP: What has brought you joy and comfort during 2020?
Olivia: Aside from books, I’ve found a lot of joy and comfort in creating art, doing messy baking/cooking experiments, and staying in touch with family and friends.
BP: If you could make a safe COVID pod with 2-5 literary characters, who would they be and why?
Olivia: I would make a pod with a few of my childhood favorites: Chris and Marigold from Once Upon a Marigold, Alanna from the Song of the Lioness series, and Jo from Little Women. While we’re all really different, I feel like we’d get along – plus, Jo could write some skits for us to act out, and Chris and Marigold could be in charge of food and fun activities. Alanna might not be so into the skits, but she could definitely make sure that we were prepared for anything.
BP: What would your favorite literary character be doing during a pandemic?
Olivia: I feel like Helen Graham (from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë) would be thriving during this pandemic, all things considered. She’d be self-isolating at Wildfell Hall and probably pretty happy about it; no nosy neighbors trying to pry into her mysterious past, and more time for painting.
BP: What’s your go-to feel good show or movie?
Olivia: The Great British Baking Show is the cheeriest show of all time, and it never fails to make me smile. My go-to feel-good movie is 10 Things I Hate About You – it’s the best Shakespeare retelling!
BP: If you could only eat one thing what would it be?
Olivia: Chewy chocolate chip cookies, without a doubt.
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!