Bookstores can be daunting experiences.
Walking into a good bookstore can be almost overwhelming: all these books! Where does one begin?
That’s where the bookseller comes in. A good bookseller can guide a reader through the impossibilities of selection in search of that perfect read. They know the sections intimately; after all, they’re responsible for every one of those spines being on the shelf. They’re the ones who spend hours every week selecting books, conscientiously and deliberately building a collection which they know will appeal to the readers in their communities. They’re responsible for keeping on-hand books they love, knowing that they will be able to match them with the perfect reader.
But what of new books? What of debut authors? What of the great unknown? How does a reader sift through the deluge of new titles being published every week?
This is where booksellers truly shine, spending the hours they’re not in the store reading ahead, perusing Advance Reading Copies and galleys, open to that electrical charge one feels when finding the next great book.
For this month’s Shelf Talkers column, we’ve set our panel of erstwhile indie booksellers a single question …