Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Things No One Tells You About Being A Bookseller by Laura L.

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The wonderful Laura from A Bookseller Blabbering write a little post about being a bookseller, thanks for joining me on Sky's Book Corner today. 


I love my job working in Waterstones. I imagine it’s nearly every book lovers dream to work in a two floor shop full to the brim with gorgeous books. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get offered a job last August and, with me coming towards the end of my first year at Waterstones, I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt. However, there are a few things I wish someone had told me before I started…

1.     You will get through a LOT of pairs of shoes.
Imagine spending all day long on your feet. Shelving books, unpacking deliveries, running around to find books for customers, showing customers where certain sections are and not having the chance to sit down until lunchtime. I seem to have got through SO many pairs of shoes – they just seem to get so worn down by all the walking around that nearly every month my pay check goes on a new pair of shoes…!
2.     Customers will assume you know EVERYTHING.
Sometimes customers ask you about a certain book and expect you to know exactly what they’re talking about. Even if they don’t know the title, author or even the colour of the cover, they still expect you to be totally magic and work out which book they’re talking about! Surprisingly, I am getting better at being psychic and often through a process of elimination I can work out which book the customer is after, however sometimes it’s just impossible!
3.     You want to cry every time someone destroys your display/shelves.
It takes a lot of patience to work in a bookshop. After making a lovely display table of books or shelving a whole section of books perfectly and in the right alphabetical order, there is nothing more soul destroying than someone ruining it. Whether it’s putting the wrong book back on the wrong shelf or taking a book off of a table and putting it back on a different one…ARGH! The pain…
4.     Every day your TBR/Wish List will grow.
Unpacking deliveries is one of my favourite parts of the job. Getting to see what is new, what is popular and what people have ordered is always pretty exciting. I love opening up a children’s delivery and seeing which new YA books have arrived and stroking their covers and, more often than not, putting one aside for me to buy at the end of the day! But when I have no money to buy any more books in a month, I start to add them all to my wishlist. I even carry around a bit of paper with me that I write new and exciting titles on…!
5.     At home your bookshelves become an extension of work.
My bookshelves at home are constantly under strict organisation and have to be perfectly ordered and looking gorgeous! At least at home I know that no one will come along and ruin my nice shelving…!

So, there are just a few things I wish someone had told me before I started! But even after long, stressful, busy days and after dealing with rude customers and feeling that the job is just too much, I realise that I am SO lucky to work where I do. I love my job. I love working with books, with my colleagues who love books just as much as me and seeing the smiles on people’s faces and the excitement when they discover a brand new book is just pure awesome.

I’m so lucky. 

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