Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Behind the Bookshelf: Interview with a bookseller, Rachel Cho

Meet this week's Behind the Bookshelf interviewee...Rachel Cho. She's a bookseller at my local Barnes & Noble, and despite some of her advice, I promise she doesn't bite! Is that the face of a biter?

Rachel also taught me a valuable lesson in that not all interviews go as planned. :-)

What are you currently reading? Thoughts on it?

Currently, I'm reading a teen fantasy novel, Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier and the well-known children's title, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. What I really enjoy about Raven Flight is the Gaelic mythology theme. There are so many different fae creatures; it's fun to read about fae other than the ones with wings.

What I've got to say about Rick Riordan is that he is a great writer. Some of the time, reading a children's book, you notice that things have been dumbed down so that children are supposed understand. What he gets is that it's really unnecessary for children's authors to do that. As you read, it's as if the words just smoothly roll off the page.

What books are you most looking forward to this year?

I don't know exactly what books to look forward in the year because I'm not really paying attention to the release dates to any of the series that I'm following. I guess you could say that since I work in a bookstore, when it comes out, I'll see it on the shelves. I also tend to read ARCs, so that throws all on-sale dates off.

Did you set any reading goals for 2013? If so, what are they?

I don't set reading goals. I just read what interests me. And when I have the time.

What three characters would you invite to the bar for a drink?

Tyrion (Game of Thrones). I haven't read the books, but I have watched the series. He is definitely someone whose stories I would enjoy just listening to. This question is a troublesome one because, normally, I'm actually quite content with the characters in their books. There aren't many that I want to take out of their environment and into mine.

If you could convince any two authors to write a book together, who would it be? Why?

I think to get two authors to write together would be quite difficult. Nor can I think of any authors where I want to see that happen.

What's the most annoying book you see flying off the shelves?

The Fifty Shades of Grey series. Even though this series isn't flying off the shelves like it did last year, people still ask for it. I don't really dislike the series with a passion, but this series didn't deserve the popularity that it has. Not only is it essentially fanfic, it's horribly written. Not just plot, but genre as well. She just didn't get anything right.

I also really dislike prolific authors.

If you could give people one piece of advice to prep them for entering a bookstore, what would it be?

Unfortunately, I can't just give one. Be PATIENT. Be POLITE and COURTEOUS. Have all your information ready when you ask for help, not spend five minutes digging through your bag or going through your phone when the bookseller probably could have helped someone else in that time.

99% of the time you don't have the title and/or author correct. So don't tell the bookseller that they're incorrect, when they've GOOGLED it and the computer shows the correct title/author.

There will be lines. There'll always be lines. DEAL WITH IT.

Bookstores/libraries DO NOT contain every single title in the world. There isn't a building large enough to contain them all. Seriously, have some common sense and be realistic.


  1. One thing I wish bn would do is to make their checkout line more clear. Before I worked there I never knew where to go. Just thinking about that bc she mentioned lines

    1. Yeah, people and lines was always my pet peeve. I was an evil line czar when I was up there.

  2. rachel12:36 PM

    ha ha, i sound so mean! ;p

    1. There's not necessarily anything wrong with wanting to enforce human decency with an iron fist ;-)