bookseller,

The problem is not regular minimum wage jobs going up. The problem here would be that paramedic making a pathetic amount of money compared to what they do. I made 12.50 as a hostess.
Raising the minimum wage would get this paramedic in the scenario much closer to what they deserve as a salary. Do people not realize that?

Also, why, in every one of these fucking posts, are fast-food workers used as an example? You know minimum wage affects FAR more people and types of jobs than that, right? You can have a degree and be paid less than $15 hourly. But, apparently, unless you’re in the medical profession, you don’t deserve more. And evidently everyone that isn’t in the medical profession works at McDonalds.

Let’s not deny an entire mass of people a working wage because you got an incorrect order. That is moronic. How about you campaign and work toward fixing the actual problem in this scenario rather than turning on the working class. Look upwards, not downwards.

P.s. Any minimum wager could easily call out high paid jackasses for not doing their jobs, that they are highly paid to do, correctly but do you see that as often as this? Nope. Because they are focused on getting their fair wage, not just wildly pointing fingers. [Ending was edited out because it was a simple joke and people took it seriously then blew it way out of proportion]

Sometimes I think about when I worked in a bookshop and some mansplaining American guy demanded I find him a book with ‘prespective’ in the title and would NOT accept that he was mispronouncing perspective even after I showed him the title on the database - even after I marched my little hobbit arse downstairs to fetch the fucking book and dumped it on the counter in front of him. Do you know what he said? DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID? “Well that must be the British spelling.” I died. I’m dead now. I’m a ghost. An ex-bookselling ghost. Where are you now, prespective guy? I hope you’re well. 

3

Back in February, Stephanie Garber - author of the breathtaking Caraval - paid a visit to our store whilst on her UK book tour. She sat down to chat about all things Caraval with our interviewer from the University of Manchester, Bean, and to answer questions from the audience, before signing all of our books of course!

I absolutely adored Caraval, as evidenced by my review here, so I was absolutely delighted that Stephanie had stopped by. I had finished reading Caraval a few weeks earlier, staying awake until silly-o’clock in the morning to find out just what was happening… only to discover that there would be another book! So of course, I was on the look-out for tidbits of information about Book 2…

Stephanie began by chatting about her writing process (she writes six days a week, giving herself Sunday off to “recharge”), how Caraval isn’t the first book that she has written (in fact, it was the sixth), and how she had carried around the idea for Caraval for 18 months before she even began writing it. She collected ideas in a notebook, figuring out her characters and their world. “It was almost like a treasure hunt” she says. When it came to Caraval’s ending, Stephanie explained that she didn’t plan it out. “I didn’t know the answers, so I wrote to discover them - Caraval surprised me, even as I was writing it.”

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When I was in college, I won an award for “Excellence in Ancient Greek,” an award, I believe, was given out of pity/awe because I logged the most hours of any student being privately tutored outside of class in an attempt to retain some small amount of that dead language.

All recipients of language awards that year got to attend a dinner with the president of the college (I missed it because my brother was graduating the same weekend and I had to go to North Carolina to sweat outside in the Sun for 4 hours while a bunch of names were read off a list. This is the dumbest part of college and it forced me to miss my big free meal! I’m still mad.)

That summer, I lived in Williamsburg in an apartment with no air conditioning. My professor emailed me asking where he could send my award. I rolled my eyes and sent the address. A few days later, I got my little fancy-lettered certificate that I’d failed to receive at the big dinner. I also found in the envelope a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for $500.

“Holy shit.” I said out loud to no one.

I assume Bard College expected me to save the card until the fall, and use it at the bookstore on campus for textbooks. But I’m no sucker. I knew from my time working at a Barnes & Noble in Cleveland that Starbucks gift cards don’t work at the Starbucks within B&N because it’s technically owned by the bookstore. But the Barnes & Noble gift cards do. So, essentially, I possessed $500 of free Starbucks.

I spent whole days writing or meeting friends at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. I learned employees will ask you to move from the cafe from time to time (if you sit there for 5 hours) but they’ll never ask you to leave the aisles as long as you don’t fall asleep. I also learned accidentally that, although they guard the doors at the store so you don’t steal anything, no one notices if you read a few books, then when you’re done, throw them in the garbage (I still feel guilty about doing this once but, man, what a thrill. In retrospect, I should I told someone I did it but I was too scared). I saw author talk after author talk, and even had an awkward moment with John Updike before he died. I got stoned and read the first page of as many books as I could in a day. Mostly, I remember the air conditioning. Whew. I’d have paid them just to let me sit there.

I owe a lot more to Community Bookstore and other indie bookstores, but I owe the Union Square Barnes & Noble and Bard College for keeping me sane during the summer of 2007. I never dreamed I’d be signing a book there or at the store in Cleveland where I first learned the joys of bookselling, but here we are.

I want to thank Marni at the Citigroup Barnes & Noble for being excited about this book and the last. I signed some copies there too. She’s worked at that store since it opened! Also, I was happy to see a fellow Bard alum Senia working at Union Square (she took this photo).