Bookworm Quirks: How Working in a Bookstore Has Changed Me as a Reader

This is my new feature, Bookworm Quirks. This week is about how working with books has changed my reading habits. If you’d like to join in on the fun, either leave a comment with the link to your post or email me at and I’ll add the link to end the of this post. Thanks for reading!

In January 2014, my sister bought a bookstore and named it Dog-Eared Books. I started working when she had go someone once I got home from school, and at the end of summer I started working there full time. It’s been amazing and I never want it to end.

(My sister and I dressed up to work Hallo-read! She’s the Moose from If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and I’m Liesel from The Book Thief.)

Working at DEB has changed my reading habits a bit though. Part of my pay is 2 books an hour, and if we had the newer books, I would work for that alone. But since it’s a used bookstore in a small Texas town, we don’t get much of the books I typically look for in stores. Because of that, I’ve had to broaden my reading horizons and it’s opened me up to books I never would have looked at otherwise. I’ve gotten my first Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, and Kristin Hannah books here, and while I’ve yet to get to their place in my TBR, I’m excited to try them out.

I’ve also added a bunch of childhood favorites to my bookshelves, from The Kid Who Ran for President to Help! I’m Trapped in a Vampire’s Body! I love walking through the kids room or middle lit shelves to find books I’d completely forgotten about since elementary school. I mean, hello, Phantom Tollbooth? Best book ever!

I’ve also gotten more open to books found at dollar stores like Dollar Tree. I’ve found really cute books there for a fraction of their cover price, and some are even in series that I already had started collecting!

But working in a bookstore isn’t all sunshine and pages. I’ve really started to resent romance and western books. Prolific authors like Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Tom Clancy drive me crazy because we have tons of them and everyone brings them in without taking any out. It’s so frustrating when you have to move a whole shelf of books down just to make room for yet another Dan Brown novel. As a result, none of those authors or books will ever have a place on my personal shelves. Just thinking about them annoys me.

All in all, working at a bookstores has forced me to look at books I never considered before, as well as shown me avenues to find books that were completely off of my radar. But it’s also given me a bit of cynicism towards authors with a ton of books under their belt (I’m looking at you, Louis L’amour).

How have you been changed by working with books? Is your dream job shelving in a library or bookstore? What do you think it’s like? Do you have any pet peeves that make you think it’s not the job for you? Sound off in the comments!



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