Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sarah Webb Lays Out the Many Roles of a Children's Bookseller

screen shot of Sarah Webb's Twitter post - the first in a thread where she lays out the many roles of a Children's bookseller. The photo shows Sarah (right) in front of the bookstore where she works part-time.

In this Twitter thread, author Sarah Webb responds to the reaction folks have been having to her part-time job as a bookseller. Sarah writes:

Lots of people have expressed surprise that I’m working as a part-time children’s bookseller. I don’t think they have any idea how skilled a job bookselling is.

So here are some of the things children’s booksellers do every day...

1/ We recommend books to grown ups for the children in their lives. Sometimes they know lots about the child or teen and their reading likes and dislikes, sometimes they just know the age. We do our best to find a book the young reader will love.
We do this by READING.
We read all the time - picturebooks right up to YA. We read reviews (for YA 
 reviews are a must). We listen to podcasts, read 
 , go to talks and events. 
We talk to children+teens about what they love to read.
We try to ring them their next fave book.

2/ To recommend books we need books in the shop so we order. New stock, classics, popular favourites,, comic books (I love comic books) - the best books we can find. 
Want a special, unusual book? We will try to order it in for you.
Takes a bit of extra time+ work but that’s ok!

3/ Some bookshops (like 
) offer a subscription service. Every month a book is carefully and individually chosen for a child or teen, wrapped and posted out. How cool is that? 
4/ We tidy the shelves, tables and displays. Create windows.
Christmas windows at the mo!

5/ We organise and run signings, events, Salons. All a bit curtailed at the moment but they will be back.
6/ Some children’s book shops run children’s book clubs, parent and toddler mornings.
7/ We support teachers - helping them pick class readers.

It seems important for those of us who create children's literature to better understand and appreciate the many roles played by the folks selling (and hopefully recommending) our books in stores.

So thank you, Sarah! And let's thanks all the other children's booksellers out there, too.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

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