Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pop Quiz: Working for the Strand in NYC

Shelf Awareness

"For nearly a century, the Strand bookstore has symbolized not only inexpensive books, but something just as valuable: full-time work for those whose arcane knowledge outweighs their practical skills," the New York Times noted in an article focusing on the Strand's hiring practices, including the legendary book quiz that is part of its application.

For NYC newbies of the bookish persuasion, a job at the Strand offers "something like instant New Yorker status. The Strand employees are known for being 'curmudgeonly' but also clever, even cool: Former employees include Patti Smith and Luc Sante," the Times wrote, adding that "for about four decades, however, applicants have confronted a final hurdle to enter its ranks: the literary matching quiz.... About 60 people apply for a job at the Strand every week; typically only a couple are hired."
Strand co-owner Fred Bass called the quiz "a very good way to find good employees.... Without good people, you don't have anything going.”

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