1. No, we haven't read all the books in the store
We're not superheroes.
2. But we very much wish we could
Can you imagine?!
3. ...and sometimes we act like we have
A lot of us are know-it-alls - it makes us good at our job. It also means admitting that we haven't heard of a title or an author is physically painful, and we approach those situations the same way you approach forgetting a person's name: with a lot of pleasant smiles, nods, and vague exclamations.
4. Ask us for recommendations! Please! We love it! So much!
We get paid to have opinions about books. It is literally our job, and it's an amazing feeling to successfully recommend a book.
5. But if you are here just to take photos of books and then order them on Amazon, uh, that's rude
That is rude AF. Like, unspeakably so. If you ever visit a bookstore that bans phones, know that this is why.
6. We're used to interpreting mispronunciations and bits and pieces of titles
You that SNL sketch about the Mom Translator? It's like that, but all the time.
7. But we're not mind-readers when it comes to what you're looking for
Waving your hands around and repeating "blue cover???" is not helpful.
8. So we Google stuff. A lot.
Which is, uh, crazy, because Google is not a bookseller-only web tool. It's available to everyone. Just saying.
9. If you know a famous person shops in our store, please do not ask what they bought
Discussing a person's taste in books is an invasion of privacy, so don't ask. We won't tell you.
10. Shelving books is a skill
"If it was facing out when you picked it up / face it out when you put it back" is a new little ditty I've been working on.
11. Oh, and: Bookstores are not dying!
But they are on the endangered list. Buying from independent bookstores is not only important for the industry, it boosts the economic health of local communities and keeps publishers and writers (and booksellers) in business.
Images: Giphy (11); Kevin Lee/Unsplash