After the success of our brilliant Children’s Publishing event this week, we thought our Day in the Life should look into the bookselling side. Keira Brown of The Edinburgh Bookshop answers a few questions to give a little insight.
What do you get up to during a normal day at work?
Booking in new and topping-up stock, shelving, cash handling, suggesting both children’s books to customers for gifts but also for their mood, swapping display titles, customer orders, cashing up, occasionally speaking with reps and certainly speaking with authors such as Vivian French and Lari Don, who are often seen browsing in the shop.
Name three books you have enjoyed this year?
- Help! The Wolf is Coming! (Cédric Ramadier)
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Patrick Ness)
- The Day the Crayons Came Home (Drew Daywalt).
What is the one book you wish you could sell to everyone who walks in your shop?
Help! The Wolf is Coming! – it is interactive, joyous, entertains and engages the young ones, and is a fun title for them to read and play with themselves.
Do you have a favourite publisher? If so, why are they your favourite?
Walker as they publish fantastic children’s books and being completely independent and enjoyed by our community it would deem them so. Books like The Most Wonderful Thing in the World are gorgeous, educational and enjoyable with fantastic illustration and content. These days it is important that the illustration captures the imagination of the children as much as the story. Visual content is also fantastically stimulating, particularly for the earlier age groups.
What kind of books would you like to see more of, and what kind do you wish publishers would stop publishing?
I would love to read more complex adventure stories and less depressed characters, although I guess they are interesting to read about. I just found myself getting frustrated with the new Franzen. However, I cannot get into a book that simply skims over the character – I need developed characters that have been given thorough thought by the author to devote my time and reading to their work.
What’s the weirdest book-question you’ve ever been asked by a customer at work?
In The Edinburgh Bookshop I have been asked by a pirate for a cutlass fight, which was rather special. We’ve got to fend off the shop from these fellow pirates, you know.
Favourite book jacket of all time?
Do love Donald Barthelme – Forty Stories cover.