Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sharing the Love

Sorry for the delay in posts, but here's another novel sized one for your reading pleasure :)
I absolutely love being able to get someone hooked on one of my favourite authors or books. One of the two jobs I have is at a bookstore and this allows me to recommend what I like to customers, which is probably my favourite part of the job.
I've been recommending books to people for years. I worked at my town's public library all through high school and that led to me becoming the unofficial book loaner/recommender among my friends. It hasn't stopped, and I love it. I suppose it's not really surprising that this happened - since I was working with books all the time, I was always learning what was new and being exposed to books that my friends and I may never have found.
Just the other week I had a conversation with a friend about how we happened upon one of our favourite authors - Sarah Dessen. We've been reading her for the longest time and still get excited when she writes a new books (May 2011! Can't wait!) After thinking about it for awhile, my friend realized that I had just found one of her books (Someone Like You, I'm pretty sure) at the library one day and decided to give it a shot. Boy, am I happy I did. I now own all but three of her books (store discounts are a wonderful thing) and have lent them to several of my friends. Just this past summer I got a coworker hooked on them too, which was great. She devoured the six books I have in about two weeks. (We booksellers are speedy readers!) By the way, if you don't know who Sarah Dessen is, maybe you remember the movie Mandy Moore and Trent Ford starred in a few years back, How to Deal. That movie is actually based on both Someone Like You and That Summer, Dessen's first two novels. By the way, Sarah Dessen has her own blog, which is a great read, but maybe just for those who are totally obsessed with her books :)
The same friend who got hooked on Dessen with me was also the one who was refusing to read Twilight a few summers ago. Now, I am one of the first ones to say that it is not the best writing and yes, Edward is quite stalkerish and creepy, but...the story itself is pretty addictive. I must also point out that I read all the books before the first movie came out and made teenage girls crazy. Ok, crazier. I had had a lot of girls coming into the store telling me how great the series was, so as soon as I was done school for the summer I decided to check them out of the library (yes, I work in a bookstore but I still love my library). Twilight sat on the table for two weeks before I got around to reading it, and once I did, that was it. I read the next two in quick succession and only had to wait about a month for the fourth. Sometime during this summer, I brought up the series with my friend who immediately said that she really didn't think that she'd like them. Knowing her taste in books, I insisted that she would. Her cousin and other best friend had told her that she would like them, but since I was her own personal librarian, she trusted my judgement and gave them a try. Yes, she now loves them too.
My final sharing story involves another fantasy series, Percy Jackson. This was another case of having customers (young kids and parents alike) rave about the books. I started to really notice it right before the movie came out, so once again I vowed to read them as soon as school was finished. I borrowed them from a coworker and was instantly hooked. No matter that these books are really targeted to ten year old boys. I am a twenty three year old female and I absolutely love them. I encouraged parents to buy them for their kids and had in depth conversations with eight year olds about Percy's world. (Check them out if you've never heard of them.) I had talked about them so much at work with the other people who had read them, that one girl gave me the first three as a going away present. Which I immediately lent to my mom's boyfriend so he could read them too. He's a huge fan of Harry Potter so I knew he would love these too...score another point for me, because he did. I also lent them to my sister's boyfriend at the time because he was about to go away to school for classics. I knew he'd love them because of the Greek myths (which is one of the coolest parts to this series) and he liked them so much that we actually got all five for him for Christmas.
I think part of the reason I'm pretty good at my job (if I do say so myself) is that I love to talk about books and what I like and try and figure out what other people might like too. It's like a puzzle, as long as the customer wants to play along and isn't looking for a book for their grandmother but they have no idea what she reads. Argh. Sorry. Fellow booksellers will know that frustration well. Anyways, getting people hooked on books is a lot of fun for me and I'm glad that my friends give me the chance to do that. They let me ramble on about books and trust me to buy/find ones that they'll love. A big thank you to them. And a thank you to you, whoever is reading this and made it through the whole post!
That's all for now...check back soon for another post :)

2 comments:

  1. I also love recommending books to people (at least ones who come in with information more specific than "I think it had a blue cover?"). And working in a bookstore has its perks, particularly with the whole 'reading a book in the back room before it's officially released' option (ahem, Robert Jordan's latest two, ahem)
    All of my closest friends are big readers, not to suggest that I would never be friends with someone who wasn't, but just that I tend to gravitate toward people who are.
    My oldest friend that I still have anything like regular contact with and I have virtually identical taste in books, so it's always fun recommending new stuff to him, or having him recommend something to me. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I haven't liked something he suggested.
    You can call me a book snob if you like, but I feel bad for people that have never known the thrill of opening a new book for the first time, or the sense of loss when you finish a book with really memorable characters in it that you won't get to hear anything more about.

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  2. The sence of loss when you finish a book, I feel it often. That is one of the great things about a series, you know you will meet the characters again.
    from KStar's biggest fan who doesn't know how to comment on a blog, but has enjoyed reading her blog and Thomas's comments

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