A short Q and A with a bookseller | Grace Latter

I have such a great time talking to other booksellers so I thought it would be fun to start a Q and A series. My first guest is Grace Latter!

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. Where do you work and what is your role?
I work at Waterstones Hastings (@WstonesHastings on Twitter and @waterstoneshastings on Insta!). I am a standard bookseller working around 3 days a week, and someday I hope to be awarded an ‘expert’ title in a genre!

2. How long have you worked there?
Only a few weeks now! I’m a delighted newbie!

3. How did you get your job?
I was sick of my previous job, and the nastiness that was occurring there. It wasn’t the right fit for me any more. So I strode purposefully into my local Waterstones and asked if they had any jobs going – I’d also tweeted them to ask as well, keen much! – and they asked for my CV. I emailed it to them that evening and had a lovely interview the following week! And I think the day after the interview when I got a call, the manager calling me was just as excited as I was!

4. What is your favourite thing about bookselling?
People listen to my recommendations and trust my opinions. Sometimes they even buy a book I tell them they should. That gives me the warmest fuzziest feelings.

5. What tips do you have for aspiring booksellers?
A classic life tip that applies here is BE YOU. Revel in your love of the written word and chatter with customers and colleagues about your shared interests. Don’t hide or shy away! Also put your personality into the shelves, face out and write rec cards for the books you love most.

Follow Grace:  twitter  |  facebook  |  blog  |  instagram

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Independent Bookshop Week Tag

Facebook_IBW_851x315This week is Independent Bookshop Week and to celebrate I thought I’d join in with the IBW tag!

1. What book is currently in your bag?
At the moment I’m reading SMART by Kim Slater which isn’t a brand new (published in 2014) but is so fantastic. I’m really enjoying it so far and would definitely recommend it to people who love Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as the main character in this is just as likeable.

2. What’s the last great book you read?
Almost everything I’ve read this year has been great (with the exception of The Neva Star which I read very late one night and didn’t really understand so deserves a second read) but the last book I read was Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan and that was utterly amazing. I mainly stick to contemporary YA and rarely read thrillers but this combined both genres so brilliantly and had my heart pounding all the way through.

3. What book have you gifted the most?
All of my friends and family have very different reading tastes so I don’t think I’ve ever given the same book twice!

4. What’s your favourite independent bookshop?
Wenlock Books (and not just because I work there!)

5. What’s been your favourite book recommended by a bookseller?
Anna (owner of Wenlock Books) chose A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler as the Random Reading Group choice for January and I absolutely loved it. It’s a beautiful (and tiny) book about a man who has lived his whole life in a remote village in the Alps and modern life is starting to reach him. It’s the kind of book that makes you long for simplicity and fresh air.

6. What’s your favourite bookshop memory?
All of Books Are My Bag day 2015 was completely magical and the customers, authors, publishers and bloggers present proved just how special independent bookshops are.

7. What do bookshops mean to you? What do you love about them?
To me, bookshops (especially Wenlock Books) mean comfort and warmth. I’ve spent the last almost-six years growing up in a bookshop and discovering who I am and what I believe in through the power of reading. I love that bookshops can be both the most exciting and busy and bouncy places but also the most calm and peaceful and gentle. I love that you can always find a corner to hide away in but that there are always likeminded people willing to share their recommendations with you.

8. What are the books that made you? Which books have most affected or influenced you? 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the first book that I re-read and was the book that proved to me that people don’t have to be defined by their conditions or illnesses. It’s not a story of Asperger’s, it’s a story about Christopher who happens to have Asperger’s and to 12 year old me that was really important.

Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman was the book that gave me the confidence to say ‘yes, I’m a feminist’ because until I read it I truly believed that feminism was for man-haters. It also gave me the confidence to embrace me exactly how I am.

I was most affected by Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It which I think everyone should read.

9. What book do you recommend readers gift for Father’s Day?
I think I should perhaps have done this tag last week…

We had a customer in on Saturday who bought lots of children’s picture flats with daddy characters to give to her husband from her child. I thought that was a really lovely idea and was a nice alternative to buying the same Father’s Day bestseller as everyone else.

10. What book is currently at the top of your TBR pile?
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness are both at the top of my list!