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, Christine!
BP: How long have you been working at BookPeople?
Christine: I celebrated 5 years at BookPeople at the end of August/beginning of September 2020.
BP: What is your favorite BookPeople memory?
Christine: So many good memories spring to mind: Michael Chabon giving me TWO hugs when he was here; meeting Francisco Cantu, author of The Line Becomes a River; all the PRH rep meetings. But I’d have to say that when Neil Gaiman signed and self-edited the copy of his “A Writer’s Prayer” that I had printed out is truly my most treasured moment. He’d just finished pre-signing 1000 books for an event, which is a great memory in itself. The look on his face when I gave him the piece of paper—even Julie Wernersbach, our former Marketing Manager, noted the sacredness of the moment. I framed it, and it has pride of place over my writing desk.
BP: How has your job changed during the pandemic?
Christine: During the pandemic, I’ve become more of a digital bookseller. While on furlough, I helped out with the BookPeople Happy Hour on Twitter, recommending titles to those who asked for suggestions. I made a series of videos for my personal media, hoping to encourage folks to support indie bookstores. Now that I’m back in the store, I’m largely at the registers, which is nice as I get to chat with customers a little bit and still have opportunities to suggest titles.
BP: What has brought you joy and comfort during 2020?
Christine: Books, my family, long phone conversations with a good friend, prayer, writing, enjoying author Edward Carey’s A Drawing a Day tweets, and sitting outside in the evenings at the beginning of the pandemic and listening to the birds and reading. All these brought me comfort and joy over the last six months.
BP: If you could make a safe COVID pod with 2-5 literary characters, who would they be and why?
Christine: I would love to have a pod with Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, two of the witches from the Discworld. Granny is no-nonsense and practical with her headology; Nanny is so down-to-earth and earthy, kind of like the Wife of Bath. Nanny would certainly spice things up as the main extrovert of the group!
I’d also want Bruce Banner for intelligent conversation and his angst.
Elwood P. Dowd (from the movie Harvey) is another I’d love to socialize with in a safe pod; he would naturally bring along his friend, Harvey the pooka. They would add to the intelligent conversation, and I’ve always had a crush on Ellwood, who is offbeat and kind. Harvey’s magic and mischievousness would liven up gatherings, and I think I could enjoy a good cigar and a drink around them.
Since Ellwood and Harvey are inseparable, my fifth pod member would be Thursday Next, who could take us into so many books, and she would bring along Pickwick, her genetically engineered dodo, who is my favorite animal in literature.
BP: What would your favorite literary character be doing during a pandemic?
Christine: Gandalf the White would be traveling around, giving comfort and aid; going viral on TikTok and YouTube with marvelous fireworks displays and demonstrations of elaborate smoke rings from his pipe.
BP: What’s your go-to feel good show or movie?
Christine: Right now, my go-to “show” is on YouTube–The Live Hummingbirds from West Texas!— on the Cornell Labs channel. Also, Terry Gilliam’s movie The Fisher King never fails to make me feel good.
BP: If you could only eat one thing what would it be?
Christine: Pizza—I love it at dinner and then cold in the morning for breakfast.
Stay tuned and join us here later this week to learn more about booksellers featured in this year’s holiday catalog!