Monday, July 19, 2010

Work Available @ PFB

We might be hiring a part-time position(s) in the next month or two, and, to that end, are now doing the looking-at-resumes thing.

The successful applicant(s) will:

• Be able to work 14-24 hours a week at Main Street and Kitsilano, including weekends and evenings

• Read widely and eclectically, be able to think critically, and be able to confidently conduct basic Internet and paper-based research

• Be comfortable in a busy and occasionally confrontational work environment (eg., be able to confidently decline trashed "trades" and visibly stolen books)

Have previous new and/or used bookstore experience

• Be able to work well independently, without direct supervision

Benefits include working with a great group of people, competitive compensation, and a hefty discount on used/new books.

Please feel free to drop off your resume at either store, or email it to Please, no phone calls or walk-in requests for work -- "You guys doin' any hiring?" -- sans resume.

KEATON, by Elizabeth Bishop


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watch The Skies!

There's a pigeon nesting under Main Street's awning, right above the bargain table. I have mixed feelings:

1. It's essentially a rat with wings, BUT

2. It's all fluffed up and making pleasant cooing noises, AND

3. It's amusing to watch its mate show up with potential nest additions (bus tickets; twigs; torn scraps of Metro and 24 Hours) which are then rejected and flung down on the sidewalk.

So the pigeon stays for now. I'll take the nest down once the fledglings can fly.

Moral of the story: if you plan to browse the bargain table, bring a hat.

(Today's soundtrack: Genesis, Pigeons)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why Indie Bookstores Matter, by Charles Demers

"Capitalism in Vancouver is an especially cruel mistress—by my last count there are only four business models left in this town that are guaranteed to turn a profit: sushi restaurant, grow-op, yoga gear supplier and being Bob Rennie.

So in a city where every day businesses (and individuals) fail and fall through the cracks, it’s not necessarily obvious why Vancouverites should care that their independent bookstores are dying.

The story generally goes that there are a tiny handful of people for whom the need to save these stores is a given, an article of faith; the rest of the population doesn’t particularly care, reads only a book or two a year anyway and doesn’t mind picking them up at a big-chain ‘bookstore’ that specializes in aromatherapy and exercise balls.

I’ve never been fully convinced of this pessimistic scenario. I’m constantly hearing about how nobody reads anymore, and yet everywhere I go people are reading. Every day, newspapers paint the picture of book-reading as a fringe activity, while their business pages describe how the richest companies in the world are jockeying for position in a race to provide people the electronic books of the near and distant future. So I think books do matter to people—the question is whether bookstores do.

Well, they do—and not just on the level of civic pride, though that’s part of it. Seattle is a great book town not only because of its Koolhaas library, but because of Left Bank Books and the Elliot Bay Book Company. It’s hard to imagine Victoria without Munro’s, or San Francisco without City Lights. Fact is, cool cities have cool, non-chain bookstores."

(via Megaphone)

Honest Bookseller? GUILTY!

"During the three-week trial Scott [...] painted himself as an honest, if eccentric, book dealer.

He claimed to have been told of the [First Folio] by a Cuban waitress called Heidi Garcia Rios, who introduced him to its owner, a retired major. It had been kept in a wooden Bible box for a century, Scott professed. He said he offered to take it to the Folger Library for authentication as a favour.

When police came to arrest him, Scott told officers: 'I'm an alcoholic and need two bottles of top-of-the-range champagne every day, but only after 6pm. I hope you have some in the police station.'"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hey Penguin Canada!

How high were those "new" Stieg Larsson hardcovers that you recently shipped to us dropped from? TWENTY FEET? Their shiny metallic DJs look like tinfoil! WHY ARE YOU STILL IN BUSINESS?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

YOU'RE The Audience

"Tin House, which is both a book publisher and a literary magazine publisher, recently announced that any unsolicited manuscript received by their book publishing arm that is postmarked between Aug. 1-Nov. 30 must be accompanied by a bookstore receipt for the purchase of either a hardcover or paperback book. The same requirement is made of any unsolicited submission received at Tin House magazine that is postmarked between Sept. 1 and Dec. 30. Any writer who cannot afford to purchase a book or cannot get to any bricks-or-mortar bookstore may have the requirement waived by writing in haiku or in one sentence -- of 100 words or fewer -- why they could not purchase a book. A receipt for the purchase of a digital book will be accepted only if the writer explains why he or she did not go to a bricks-and-mortar bookstore and why he or she prefers digital reads, as well as the preferred device and why."

(via PW)

Give Me Your Love

Music for summer. 30 degrees out on Main Street, fans twirling inside, boxes of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo all over the desk.