Working in a bookshop

‘Ah, now that you work in a bookshop, you must know so much more about books, mustn’t you?’

Depends on how you define ‘knowing’ there. If it means I can more easily associate a name with the content of a book, then yes, I know more now that I work in a bookshop. But if you mean being able to advise someone on which of these works he/she should try according to his/her specific taste, then no, I’m not there yet.

‘But you’ve only been there a week.’ Half a week, to be precise – thank you wisdom teeth.

True, and there is so much to know! Good news is I can learn. Yay!

What I can already do with my personal little knowledge is to give advice on classic literature if anyone wants to discuss his/her inclination. However no one besides me is into classics, except for those who make school programmes for students to hate it. Therefore I have very thin chances to be useful at present. And yet the other day – my first day – I had the pleasure to have a say in a customer’s request as for which classics she should have read by now that she hasn’t. She was what I will call a ‘blank page’ and it was an absolute delight to share with her my sincere opinion about this play by Shakespeare, that masterpiece by Flaubert or Stendhal, etc. Being of a realistic nature, I am not likely to succeed in bringing people to reading more classics. This lady happily proved me wrong. She ended up buying Boris Vian’s L’écume des jours – Vian’s work is just as mad and poetic as Joyce’s and they’re both now considered ‘classics’ within the scope of literature, may we like it or not. It’s a start. A wild one, but it’s a start. We’ll see if she ever comes back. Haha.

Time will be my best friend in this job since it takes you a lifetime to gather information about so many works – and believe me, there are many many many many many… of them. I can read when the shop’s empty, which is a duty I am more than happy to perform, and the team is adorable and helpful. So far so good.

‘I’m looking for a book that’s just come out. About politics. You know, it’s all over the radio and on every TV show. You see which one, right?’

‘Uh… See my colleague over there?’


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I am a French girl interested in all and nothing!

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