Some Things I Love About Working in a Bookstore

It was recently my second year anniversary at work and like all jobs there are some things that annoy you (messy clients) and many things that you come to love. Here are some of the things I love about working in a bookstore!

  1. BOOKS.
    A pretty obvious choice but come on. How can this not make the list? You’re surrounded by all kinds of books and everyday is an adventure! There are tons of books that catch your attention and all of a sudden your “To Be Read” Pile went from two books to forty in a week. Hand-in-hand with this point: Employee Discounts (especially during employee appreciation week) :D.
  2. MY COWORKERS.
    Being surrounded by people (Book Lovers) who have similar interests as you, who geek out with you no matter what time of the day it is (I work at 6 am… sometimes it’s hard to geek out so early in the morning) is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. The atmosphere at the bookstore I work at is something that will mark me forever. I mean, I don’t have much experience in retail, but the little I did have (before the bookstore) left something bitter in my soul if you know what I mean.
  3. HELPING/RECOMMENDING
    I’m not part of the Sale’s Team anymore, usually only during the holidays/peak season, but being that detective for all those: “The cover is blue with a bird on it i think?” cases and solving them correctly just fills you with pride (Or maybe that’s just me). That… And recommending books that people actually enjoy in the end and come back asking you specifically for another recommendation!
  4. ALL THE EVENTS WE HOST.
    -cough- Like Harry Potter events… I’m so sad that’s over. Does this really need elaboration?
  5. Last one: CUSTOMERS – (but not all of them)
    Most customers are pretty awesome, and I actually find a lot of my favourite books through their recommendations. You know, sometimes when they say “The customer knows best” it’s true! :D

Bookmammal made a similar list back in October and shared it with me so check it out [here] ! :D We have a few similarities~
That’s all for nowwww~
Until next time
Sam

P.S: Most of us on this Blog will be on “vacation” for a while because Finals are on the wayyyy… Most of us are busy studying our lives away haha. :)

Halloween Reads!

Halloween is just a few days away so I thought it’d be nice to list books that could/would/does get us all in the mood for this creepy holiday (and to be honest, my least favourite holiday from the bunch– I am the resident scaredy cat here…). * Note, I won’t be reviewing these books. Just naming some that I think are fun for the season.

First on my list is:

The Child Thief by BROM (I do have a review of this one from a while back).

This book makes the list because it’s a dark twist on a very mischievous character Peter Pan. I think that fits well enough with the season. Think of it as a nice blend of trick-or-treat and horror movies rolled into your favourite candy surprise.

Second:

One for the kids that’s pretty popular at work is:
Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Halloween by Mélanie Watt

It’s cute, fun, and prepares kids for Halloween! What’s not to like? I like this scaredy squirrel series because, as a scaredy… well I could have related very well to these books as a child.

Third:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This one also pretty much speaks for itself. I mean what’s not Halloween mood-ish about it? A boy lives in a graveyard and it raised by ghosts and stuff! If that doesn’t sound like a perfect spooky season read, I don’t know how to help you.

Fourth:

Another Neil Gaiman book, Coraline.

I’ll admit, I haven’t actually read the book… but the movie was pretty good and definitely something I think fits the Halloween criteria! Am I right or am I right?? Plus, how can Neil Gaiman NOT get on a list twice (look at Michelle’s list the other week!)?

Last one:

Let’s go with a classic —
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I think the title is enough of an explanation, no?
:)

What are your favourite Halloween Reads or Recommendations?
You probably noticed I didn’t suggest any horror stuff… well I stay true to my claim, I’m a scaredy cat… I don’t read horror. I barely watch horror movies haha.

Until Next Time!
Sam

Comparing Authors/Series

Have you ever read a review or picked up a book that states something along the lines of: “The New [INSERT POPULAR BEST SELLING AUTHOR’S NAME HERE]!!”

This came along because I’m currently reading Samantha Shannon’s “The Bone Season” and some of you may know that she’s being compared to/called “the new J K Rowling”. But as I’m reading through this, that isn’t the case. The only thing right now that makes them similar is their publishing company and the fact that Shannon is set for a Seven book series.

Other than that, Shannon’s books have nothing to do with Harry Potter or J K Rowling. It’s a great way to get hype for a book, but as I’m reading it all I’m thinking about is what it’s being compared too.

Yeah…

I have a love hate relationship with these hype things. I love it because if I’m looking for a specific style or genre, going through lists that are “recommended because you read [insert title here]” or “if you liked [series name here], you’ll love this” saves me a lot of new book hunting time.

I dislike it because I tend to have high expectations for the book after. Then… 60 percent of the time, it just doesn’t compare.

Don’t get me wrong though, because the books I pick up are still a great/good read! But… you just can’t compare two or more different authors/books series against each other. Everything you read or watch or listen to should stand on it’s own and not be compared to something it has nothing to do with.

Sure there might be a familiar aspect between whatever it is you’re subconsciously comparing but I think we should get into the habit of not doing that. I think we (or maybe this is just me) would enjoy some reads better if we weren’t constantly comparing it to things you know? I mean, how can you compare different styles of writing anyway? or different worlds of fiction? They’re meant to be different for a reason…

Am I rambling here/not making any sense?

What do you think?
Do you get caught up on the own comparing thing?

Let me know!
Until next time
Sam

Real Name or Pen-Names?

If you ever Published a novel would you use your real name or would you use a pen-name and why?

This is a question I’ve asked all my friends who one day want to publish their work. After working in a bookstore for almost two years (and still going), Authors’ names are one of the first things you’re going to look at when putting books away. It’s gotten to the point where I can almost always predict which section a book will be solely based on the author’s name.

I imagine there are tons of people out there not using their own names to publish their work for various reasons. But how do they come to that decision? That’s something I’ve always wondered and still don’t have a complete answer too.

I personally haven’t come to a decision yet. If ever I published something of my own, would I put my real name? I really don’t know. Most of me leans towards No. I want a pen-name. The other part of me would really like to see my real name on my work.

What do you think?
Sam

Box of Surprise!

I’ve been away from this blog for two weeks! My bad. The past two mondays were holidays over here and I was away from the computer all day. BUT NOT TODAY.
This week I want to talk about an adventure that happened a while back. But before that, let me as you a question:

What are your thoughts on used books/used-book shops?
Personally. I think they’re freaking awesome! There are so many awesome finds if you’re patient enough to browse through everything. Meli, Michelle, and I went to a used-book shop a while back and there was an offer that caught my attention.
A taped up box with this sign:

and inside was a bunch of random books.
tada!

The majority of them were extremely cheese-y romance novels that I’m totally not into haha. But Meli grabbed a few that interested her. The books I was interested are parts of a series so I’m probably going to look for first part before delving in.
Have you done this kind of thing before? What kind of books did you get if you did?

Well that’s all for today!
Sorry it’s so short, I’m a little pressed for time,
Until next week~
Sam

Words for Dessert: The Dark By Lemony Snicket


The Dark
Lemony Snicket; Jon Klassen
Little Brown Books, 2013
Hard Cover
40 Pages
Children’s Lit.

Laszlo is afraid of the dark.

The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does.

This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear.
-Taken from GoodReads

I’m a big fan of children’s literature and since one hasn’t been reviewed on here before I thought now was a good time to bring it up.

I chose this children’s book to review first because there are several things about it that called out to me before I even read the pages between the covers. To list them: 1) Lemony Snicket 2) Jon Klassen and 3) The Dark; to elaborate, I really enjoyed “Lemony Snicket’s” style of writing and when I saw the book come in waiting to be put on the shelves at work, I was wondering how it would work for a book “catered” to a younger audience (at my work we shelve it in the 3-5 age range). I’m a huge fan of Jon Klassen’s illustrations and a quick glance through the book was enough to make me fall in love with his work all over again. The Dark. As a child (And shhh. don’t tell anyone, even as an adult) the dark scares me. No matter what age, I was sure that it would be relatable.

The story is short and simple and the ending really sweet. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m happy my curiosity compelled me to pick it up. The story is about not being afraid of the dark. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Snicket’s style by giving the Dark a voice. It was a little creepy at first because I’m a scaredy-cat and in my mind I wanted to tell Laszlo not to listen to it but, he’s a brave child. More than myself. Seriously… I wouldn’t have left my room.

The ending brought a nice smile on my face, it’s cute and I really enjoyed it. Jon Klassen’s illustrations fit perfectly and I couldn’t have imagined a better artist to do it. I really hope they pair up more often! (or for Klassen to write more books but that’s another post)
All in all. I definitely recommend this book! I know I put my employee recommends sticker all over every copy we had in store haha. 5 out of 5 for me! Give it a go if you find it at your local bookstore!

:D

Have you read this? Did you love it as much as I did?
Do you read children’s literature? What’s your favourite?

Until next time~
Sam

Words for Dessert: Diary By Chuck Palahniuk

Words for Dessert is my little home for Book Reviews. :)

Diary
Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor, 2004
Trade Paperback
262 Pages
A Genre that can only be described as Palahniuk’s flavor…
Dark Humor/Mystery/Suspense/Contemporary

Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.
GoodReads Summary

I first read this book back in 2005 or 2006 when I was 15 years old, again in 2008, and I recently skimmed through it trying to remember if I enjoyed it or not. While it’s not my favourite, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

“Can You Feel This?”

I did.

This book with its angst filled existential nihilistic narrator is the one that introduced me to Chuck Palahniuk’s style of storytelling (not Fight Club?! I know…). This was also the first book I chose for myself (and not forced upon in school) outside of the Teen/YA genre (and I’ve had a hard time looking back since).

Diary can be a hard read for new comers to this genre/Palahniuk’s writing… or at least, I found it a little hard but at the same time, it’s still a quick read with only 262 pages. This book stirred quite a bit of an internal struggle for me. There were some points (graphic in gore-y disturbing details and imagery) that made me want to put the book down and take a breather and at the same time push through because I needed to know more. I think that’s just how Palahniuk works though, it’s a little fascinating how his dark tales can affect you.

I was really interested in the art and history aspect of this novel because it was brought into the story in such a strange and kind of freaky way. Misty Wilmot’s struggles and suffering really put me on edge and as the story unravels… well… without revealing anything I can only say, it’s seriously messed up. And I can understand why Palahniuk uses his character’s talent for art and personal struggles to his advantage. Most artists (successful or not) use their darker thoughts and struggles as inspiration for their art as well as an outlet to let go of these demons. It was clever.

The book also has a few moments that caught me off guard leaning forward on the edge of my seat with my mind screaming “WHAT?!”

I smile just thinking about it. Ahh… Good times.

This was the first book that gave me the whole “What the hell did I just read” reaction and I’m quite happy for it. I’d definitely recommend it for someone who wants to step into a new genre. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea but all the same, still an enjoyable read.

My 15 year old me would have probably rated this book a 5 out of 5. But nowwww…. I think I’d rate it a 4. Why? Well I’m still a squeamish person and some of those visuals I could have lived without haha. Petty… I know.

Have you read this book or any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books/shorts? What did you think?
Any recommendations (of his writing or writing similar to his style/genre) to give me? (Other Palahniuk flavors I’ve read are Fight Club, Choke, Tell-All, and Guts.)

Until Next Time~!
Sam