There has never been a doubt in my mind that it takes a special kind of person to work in a bookstore. Booksellers must have reverence for books, an extensive knowledge about books, vivacious readers, and a few endearing quirks. The problem is most booksellers at other stores seem to fall a bit short. Sure they all love to read and some may even wear socks with sandals, but they don't have it: They don't have the knowledge of and reverence for books that truly make a bookseller great. Here at the Boulder Book Store I have yet to find a bookseller who can't give me a spot on recommendation or one who doesn't exclaim over books with awe. Reason number three on the Local and Loved list is that our booksellers are the best. I had the chance to follow a few of them around and get a tiny bit of background...
Warren: 16 years
Warren started at the bookstore because he wanted to be surrounded by books. He wanted to buy and feel and read books. He has accumulated an amazing collection since starting at the Book Store and he can't wait to actually have the time to read all that he has. Warren loves seeing what's new at the store and getting a sneak peak of what's to come. He especially loves to see what books old books are being reprinted. A year or so ago he was able to replace a copy of The Long Ships after the New York Review Books reprinted a bunch of classics. Above all Warren just loves to be with the books.
Joey: 4 years
Joey is the sidelines guy. All the cool, extra stuff in the store is here because of him. Joey started working at the Boulder Book Store because he needed a job...and he loves books. The thing that Joey loves the most about the Books Store is how coworkers. He says that they're like one big (crazy) family.
Laina: 2 years
Laina works at the store because books are in her blood. Her parents own an independent bookstore back east and her home has always been filled with books. After moving to Colorado Laina knew that the Book Store was where she belonged. Laina loves the customer service aspect of the store. She loves helping people fine the right books, the ones they came in looking for and others that they might like. Books are very therapeutic for her and she wants everyone to have that same feeling with the books they read.
Tara: 2 years
Tara used to come into the Book Store as a patron and worked across the street years earlier. For her it just made sense to come back to a place she loved. Tara's favorite thing about the Book Store is its location downtown, it's a hub for so many things. She also loves working here because of Joey.
Patrick: 1 year
Patrick started at the Book Store because of the books and the community he had already become a part of. Many people from book club already worked at the Book Store and it already was a place he belonged. Patrick loves the Boulder Book Store because it is truly a community of people who love books. The Book Story is also a place of meeting.
Helen: 1 year
Helen applied for two years before she found a place at the Boulder Book Store. She graduated with a degree in English and it made perfect sense to be surrounded by the friends that she had learned with (books). She loves being at the Book Store because of the books but she loves it for other reasons as well. The Boulder Book Store is the heart of Boulder. It is a place for meeting new people and learning new things. It is also an excellent place to meet Simon Van Booy.
Christian: Christian grew up in Boulder, this is a place where he has roots. After returning from graduate school he wanted to do something he loved and selling books was the perfect thing. Christian loves that the Book Store is a crossroads for the intellectual community and a hub for local flavor. It is a place for him to be introduced to the faces that he's seen his whole life. He has had his first conversations with people that he used to stand in line with at coffee shops or see at the grocery store. The Boulder Book Store is a place for the community to come together. At events everyone can learn and everyone can teach.
For some it was a fluke, coming in a finding a place in this big, historical building. But for every book seller and staff member, The Boulder Book Store is home. And they strive everyday to make it home for their customers too.
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