…And that’s about it. My name is Larissa Swayze and I am a book-selling virgin.
Even as a child, every autumn when the small town I grew up in held its town-wide garage sale, my used copies of Sweet Valley Twins went untouched. I hear the word Flyleaf and think of the female-fronted Texas rock band. When faced with acronyms such as ABA, ABAC and IOBA, I have to turn to ever trusty Google to decipher. I have never worked in a bookstore or attended a book fair. Is there some kind of omniscient booksellers’ newsletter I can subscribe to that will inform me of important things I should know and events I should attend? Perhaps it can also include a step by step guide entitled, “Selling Books for Newbies: How to Turn Other People’s Words into Your Cash.” Thankfully, I’m not quite naive enough to believe that immense riches will befall me through this endeavor. At least not monetary riches – but that’s okay. Because what I’m in it for, is the glory. The passion. The same reason I assume (or at least hope) others who are fortunate enough to do it for a living are:
The love of books.
I love to look at them. Smell them. Hold them in my hands. Discuss them. Collect them. Scold those who dare to disrespect them. And most importantly, I love to read them. I just want to be around them as much as possible. Currently, the only book in my vicinity is the Alberta Building Code of 1997 and my friends, Shakespeare it ain’t.
So how do I begin?
My recent trip to a tropical destination was supposed to be an intellectual quest of sorts. Read some books about books; come up with “The Plan”. Of course, what ended up happening was a lot of staring blankly out into the ocean and drinking free Brahma. I am no closer to a solution now than I was when I set out on my journey.
I’m just going to have to find myself a bookselling Yoda. Someone who can show me the way or, at least give me a job in their bookstore. (Anyone?) If I can’t find a mentor, then I suppose I’ll just do what any other booklover would – turn to the written word. I’ve already found 17 how-to guides on Amazon that I’m positive will assure me bookselling is easy and anybody can do it.
Leaving my comfortable and well-paying desk job for a strange and unknown world, where people speak another language and know things I don’t, really won’t be so different from visiting a foreign country. All I have to do is soak it all in because fortunately, I don’t believe in mistakes. Basically, at this point, nothing can go wrong.
[editor’s note: Help us welcome Larissa to the group here by leaving a comment for her, or maybe a job invitation??]
Part 2 of Larissa’s Story Getting a Job in a Bookstore