That’s right – I no longer work at a bookstore. As of exactly a month ago, I’ve gotten a new job somewhere else, somewhere just as good as a bookstore – if not better in some ways. But it’s a secret for now; more shall be revealed later in a separate post. While I love my new job and am very excited for it, there are definitely things I’m going to miss about my old job…
1. 30% discount employee discount
Oh boy will I miss this. We all know reading is an expensive hobby – books aren’t cheap! – but having this discount allowed me to get back into reading new books for a reasonable price, not to mention picking up a few non-book products here and there. Especially when I got my 30% discount on top of something that was already on sale – bonus!
2. Being surrounded by books all of the time
On the quieter days in the store, it made it easier to browse some of the books on the shelves and tables – essentially shopping for new things to read – but also doing research so that I could be more knowledgable about what we stocked. I loved picking up a random book and reading the back and seeing the diverse types of stories out there. That’s the thing with books – you can guarantee you’ll never stop learning because there’s just so many stories out there that will tell you different things.
3. Being in the know about all the latest book news
In a bookstore you’re right at the front of it all – the latest best sellers, the latest debut authors, books that are trending… I loved listening to my podcasts on the way to work such as Writers & Company or The Next Chapter, hearing the hosts interviewing a certain author about their book, only to arrive at work and see the same book there on the front tables and already I knew all about it. Or on those 5am morning shifts where I worked in receiving unboxing our delivery crates, where I would actually unbox a brand new batch of books that were straight from the printer and ready for the shelves. It was so cool to be one of the first people to ever hold or see a new book coming into the store.
4. Going through the storage room
Seeing all of the store’s products just sitting down in the storage room was also pretty fun. It’s like seeing the back stage of a theatre or film set.
5. Restocking products on the floor
One of my jobs at the store was to replenish displays and tables if we saw they were empty or getting low. Because of this, you become pretty familiar with everything and start to know exactly how much things cost and where to find them when people ask. And it was very satisfying when you knew the answer; I quite enjoyed helping people find exactly what they were looking for.
6. Great customers
One of the things my manager said to me when I was first hired was, “Don’t worry, we have the best customers in the world; all of them just want to read and buy books.” And it was largely true. The customers really were quite great – some in particular were super nice and friendly and just wanted to discuss books or recommend their favourite reads. Granted, there were a few customers that weren’t so great as there always is, but given the fact I worked there for half a year and can count on one hand the number of ‘bad’ customer experiences I had, I wouldn’t complain about it at all.
7. Last but not least, the awesome team of people working there
Not once in the entire 6 months of working in a big corporate bookstore did I ever have any weird or unpleasant instances with a coworker – not even in the slightest. I was amazed. I’m not saying I was expecting it to be horrible working there – I knew it would be great, but I was expecting some sort of dreaded drama to happen eventually, there always is. But not at this bookstore. It was totally drama-free and everything was just super chill and friendly and chatty and never brought bad vibes to work. It was a magical place not just because of the books and stories and products, but because of the people working there – including all of the managers too.
I am sad to say goodbye to my time working at a bookstore. I definitely learned a lot about books and people skills, but my reason for leaving was a really, really good one. More on that to come later…