Reasons for which working at a book store for the summer – ideally Blackwells – is an increasingly appealing option:
- Working in a retail environment without a ‘hard sell’ character would be a refreshing break from Staples. Nobody is going to tell you that you need to ask probing questions to determine the literary needs of shoppers, then argue why a particular book suits those needs, then overcome their objections and sell them accessories. I enjoy being in a position to help people, but strongly dislike being in a position where I am under pressure to put them under pressure.
- Friends of mine who worked in book stores (especially Kate) really seemed to enjoy it.
- You can never know enough about literature or contemporary fiction.
- Staff discounts: useful both for summer reading and the acquisition of thesis related books.
- A high probability of literary discussions and the meeting of fellow appreciators of books.
The biggest potential liability is that such an employment environment might not allow the flexibility required for the travel I am hoping to do. It’s something to ask about if I get interviewed, in any case.
Having already dropped off a resume and cover letter at Blackwells, what other book shops might I apply to? There’s IQ, but it seems to be a really small place – though one that seems to be quite well admired. There are Borders and Waterstones, neither of which has the same institutional feel as Blackwells, but which are nonetheless possibilities. Since Blackwells is something of a tourist attraction in its own right, they are also more likely to take on extra staff for the summer, despite the exodus of students.
What other possible summer jobs do people recommend?