Friday, October 5, 2012

Shelver's Confessions

Photo credit
This last Saturday, I dissected a list of confessions from a group of anonymous Borders employees in honor of the closing of Borders one year ago. I thought it would only be fair if I then turned the tables and gave a few confessions of my own.

Now I've given quite a few confessions on this blog (you can find them by looking for tags "work," "Shelver Secret" or "customer"), so I'm going to be a bit more transparent with my list. Mine is more like... confessions of an English major/bookshelver/book lover. More transparent, more inclusive. I fully expect shock and/or outrage in response to a couple. Enjoy.
Click to enlarge. Please pardon my handwriting.


1. The first time I read Twilight, I liked it. No, more than that, I was just a wee bit obsessed. I'd borrowed the entire series from a friend and brought them to college to read. My roommate went out of town for the weekend, and I read the entire series in one weekend. They just sucked me in. I'm sure I looked a bit zombified by the time my roommate returned. Thankfully, the last book snapped me out of my stupor (ugh), and my patient roommate gently taunted me back to my senses. Now I sneer slightly every time I pass the books. (But NEVER at the customers who read them, I promise.)

2. I read incredibly fast, but I almost never read more than one book at a time. I know people who can bounce from book to book, and it just baffles me. Except in dire time constraints ("Aaaah, I really like this book, but I HAVE to read this other one for a deadline!"), I like to devote my full attention to one story at a time. Being focused helps a lot when it comes to writing reviews.

3. I detest Shakespeare. And I'm an English major! I'm sure the man himself was loads of fun, but I CANNOT STAND his plays. Sure, he was revolutionary, blah blah blah, but anything that requires that many footnotes to read just isn't worth my time. ... And I can feel English majors, book lovers, and literary critics everywhere clutching their pearls in horror. Moving on.

4. I don't use "real" bookmarks. I just lose them! They're never handy when I need them. For the longest time, I used to dogear my pages, but my mother broke me of that habit. Now I usually tear strips off of whatever random piece of scrap paper happens to be lying nearby. Tada! Insta-bookmark that I don't have to be afraid to lose.

5. Most of us at the store don't drink the coffee from our cafe; instead, we hide our Starbucks cups behind the registers. Don't get me wrong, our coffee is yummy, but it's almost as expensive at Starbucks. If I'm going to pay $3+ for my mocha frap, you better believe I'm going for the cup with the brand prestige. (However, when the guy at the cafe puts out free samples, we're all over that tray.)

6. I have never read one line of Harry Potter. Not one. I have never read the books, I have never seen the movies. I feel like a social leper and a failure as a bookshelver just writing those words, but it's true. I can't tell you the number of times a parent has asked for a book recommendation for a son or daughter and said, "Well, he liked Harry Potter" and I've had to scramble for something I thought might be similar. And every time a blogger writes, "If you liked Harry Potter, you'll love ____," I go "Yeeeah..."

7. The amount that I hate a book is directly proportional to the amount of shelf space said book sucks up. Seriously. I've never read one line of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead or Slammed by Colleen Hoover, but I DETEST those books. Corporate sends us 10+ copies at a time, which means the entire shelf has to be reorganized every week to make the new books fit.

8. I don't watch book trailers. I don't like them. They do nothing for me.

9. My bookshelf is organized by "feel." The non-fiction has its own section and is sensibly separated into reference, social science, literary criticism, etc. But my fiction? YA has its own section, but the rest is totally by feel. Austen-y books are together, scary books, Christian fiction, mysteries, etc. Then, of course, the books are arranged within each category by author's last name. Maybe it's not a conventional system, but I like it.

10. I liked The Lord of the Rings movie better than the book. There! I said it. The book is gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but the movie cut out some of the slow parts, gave the female characters more proactive roles, and had a score written by Howard Shore. You don't argue with Howard Shore.

So they're a little less than earth-shattering, but I had to get them off my chest. Especially the one about Harry Potter. Yikes. What would YOU like to confess?