So, Saturday was my last day at my independent bookstore. My husband and I move to Pennsylvania on Thursday, and I start anew.
I’ve worked at my bookstore for this past three years. It’s the first job I’ve had that felt’s right, like I could just keep on doing it forever. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but working at my bookstore is what made me realize how important books are to me. My job taught me to talk about books, to read widely, to keep up with the latest book news. It sharpened me from a casual reader into an avid, insatiable one. I owe to it the person I am today.
How do I feel about my departure? I’m still figuring that out.
On the one hand, I am actually looking forward to taking a break. As delicious as spending 40 hours a week fondling books can be, at times I felt overloaded. Every third book I shelved was one I wanted to read. Every day I talked with staff members and customers about their latest reads and added those to my list as well. Countless new books are released every day, and there was no way I could keep up. Sometimes it felt a bit like drowning, that constant deluge of pages with no time to catch my breath. I admit I’m looking forward to dipping into my own collection for a change. I’d like to read some of what’s on my shelf instead of being inundated with new, new, new. Maybe tackle a classic, or some meatier nonfiction.
But of course, I’m sad to go. After three years of being in-the-know regarding books, I feel a bit like my lifeline is being cut. I loved knowing what was hot, what was about to be released. I loved seeing customers’ eyes light up when I handed them a recommendation that’s just what they wanted. I loved getting books into readers’ hands and being a part of something I believe in. I will miss all that terribly.
The bright side, of course, is that, thanks to my accidental discovery of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I’ve found a community of readers and bloggers who are at least as passionate about books as I am. Pardon the overdramatic simile, but it’s a bit like realizing someone has thrown you a life preserver just as you’re about to go under. I no longer feel quite so much like I’ve been set adrift. I know there are friendly, like-minded people out there who will help me fill my book daily requirements. It’s a wonderful thing to know.
Will I find another job in a bookstore? I get asked that a lot. Honestly, I’m not sure. For now, I plan to turn my attention to the world of book blogging and dive in. Ready or not, here I come!