by Morgan on January 9, 2012
I’ve been slacking. I’ve been so excited to be working in a bookstore that I’ve been neglecting the blog (and just about every other thing, besides reading). My position at Crawford Doyle is coming to an end, along with the holiday season, and I’m in a slump.
I need a job. I go on bookjobs.com and dead-eye the postings, ditto mediabistro. I query friends who say they know this or that person for me to meet, who works at such and such a place, and suddenly it’s like I can’t hear anything they’re saying. Literally, I can’t hear them.
My heart is in the bookstore.
I’m writing a novel, that’s true. And I’m reading. My god, I’m reading. But there is nothing - nothing - like putting a book in someone’s hand.
I swear, when a customer comes into the store and says, “show me something good,” I can feel the blood in my veins. When I pull something off the shelf and hand it to them, I can feel, physically, my connection to that person.
Truth: sometimes I feel like the only people I can connect to are fictional characters and the authors who create them. Sometimes I fail to comprehend (or at least internalize) that anything else is real. I unabashedly admit to feeling like my reading life is realer than my lived life.
But when I’m working in the store, selling books, I feel real. I feel like a person, in the world, talking to people. Really talking to them. I can think of no bigger contribution that I can make to someone else’s life, that would be authentic, than recommending a book. That exchange feels honest, and energetic, and beneficial.
This is all sounding a little too Louise Hay for my taste, but there you have it.
So: I’m looking for another bookstore job. I’m also starting my preliminary search for a business partner with the goal of opening a new bookstore in Los Angeles.