December 28, 2013

I Have Officially Worked at a Bookstore

So, since this summer, I've been reviewing ARCs for the indie bookseller in my town, Read Between the Lynes.  It's been a fantastic experience, and I'm so grateful for Arlene, the owner.  She's known me since I was 10 and definitely knows what a bookworm I am, so the fact that she graciously provided me with the ARCs means a lot.

When the holiday season was approaching this year, she asked me to work in the store as a gift-wrapper.  I agreed obviously, especially since she said she'd pay me in a giftcard to the store.  I worked the last three Saturdays for four, five, and six hours respectively.  And it's been an experience.

My wrapping skills are better now.  I still can't cut the paper very well, but that didn't matter since the paper at the store is on a giant roll that you tear it off from.  But I've gotten better at folding and tying bows.  I've also learned what the employees dread wrapping: mugs (we were asked to wrap one on the 14th), calenders (they're so flat and big!), picture books (they're great gifts, but they're very flat), and anything that's a weird shape.

I think I wrapped over 100 books in total.

Can I get a round of applause, please?

The first Saturday, there was an author event for a book about Wrigley Field.  Side note: you're either a Cubs fan, a traitorous Cardinals fan, or a sad White Sox fan up here in the Chicago area.  After the book signing, we had so many people ask for the book to be wrapped.  The store was mobbed that afternoon.

The second Saturday was much quieter, but there were several periods of about 10 minutes or so where the store would be mobbed and everyone would want their purchases wrapped.  Two authors came for signings, but they didn't make things too hectic.

The final Saturday, though... I got there at 10 and was staying until things started to quiet down.  Towards the beginning, there were a ton of lulls, but then it got crazy.  After all, it was the Saturday before Christmas.  Right up until about 2 minutes before I was supposed to leave, I was wrapping purchases.  We had new green and burgundy ribbons that are super pretty. (Something random I had to mention.)  I also now have a giftcard to Read Between the Lynes with a very large sum of money on it, the most I've ever had for books.  I can't wait to tackle my list once Christmas is past.  I promised everyone that I'd probably be back on the 26th to start spending, haha.

So, do I want to work in a bookstore in the future?  Possibly.  It's pretty exhausting and my feet really hate me right now.  Customer service isn't always my forte.  But I love being around books, and the whole Christmas season makes me happy, so I think a bookstore is probably the best place to work retail during the holidays.  My ultimate goal is to work in publishing and write, but maybe God has other plans for my future...


  1. *applauds for Emma having wrapped over 100 books*

    Sounds like a pretty awesome job, even if it does have its downsides. Calenders are rather annoying to wrap, I know. Glad it went well!

    That sounds really cool!!! And every job has it's cons. :) Just wanted you to know that I've nominated you for the Sunshine Award. :) The info is here:


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