Thursday, July 21, 2016

Booksellers 'Have Chosen to Love & Worship Books'

Shelf Awareness

"Everyone chooses something to worship in life--money, love, lust, beauty, nature--and they spend a lifetime chasing that, even if they don’t know it. Being a bookseller means I am surrounded by people who have chosen to love and worship books. We have hired many former Borders employees, for example. These are people who have spent an entire lifetime around books. I love watching them interact with the books in the same way they interact with friends and people. I love learning why they picked up a particular book. What they love about a story or protagonist. What they love about the physical object of a book itself.

Literati owners Hilary and Mike Gustafson
"Our manager, Jeanne, loves discussing book covers--what attracted her to that particular book, even if she had never heard about it before. Books are more than glued and bound pieces of paper. They take on greater significance for booksellers, and being a bookseller means I am surrounded by people who can see and value this. Being around people who have decided to love books as opposed to money or power, makes me feel good. Like I can absorb that passion, bathe in it."

--Mike Gustafson of Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., in a Tin House Bookseller Spotlight q&a

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