Novelists—even those who use twitter—hang on to the perhaps quaint notion that their output is books you can weigh.
“I’m a writer, but I also love selling books.”
Through her job, Straub has befriended other booksellers across the country, at conferences and, increasingly, on Twitter. Which, in turn, helps her as an author. “When I was setting up a tour, I called on them,” she said. “Working at the store has helped me make relationships with people I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.”
Other writers agree that bookselling work has a concreteness that writing itself can lack. “It’s tangible — you go in and straighten the shelves and sell a book to someone who might have never thought of buying it otherwise,” said Jami Attenberg, who works every Saturday at Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.