Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shelf Life

Shelf Life is author Suzanne Strempek Shea's memoir of working in a bookstore. I read this for the seasonal book challenge's category of a dream career. I would love to own a bookstore. But, I know that's not reality.

After reading Shelf Life, I even more would love to have a bookstore. I really enjoyed reading about the book selling trade--the publishers' reps, the credit for sending books back, how a store orders books. I was really jealous of the job of setting up seasonal interest tables (Valentine's Day or Halloween or 9/11, which occurred during the book). I think finding books from all different genres related to one issue or event would be so fun. The employees also set out their favorites. I'd love to share my favorites in such a way.

I read some reviews of Shelf Life that found it rather snobby. I can see how people might think that about it, but I guess I'm kinda snobby too. I loved it as is. And really, if someone asked for a book on how to speak Bermudian they deserve a bit of a "Really?!"

I got this book for my Kindle and felt like a huge jerk for it the whole time I was reading. The bookstore Shea works at is an independent. I bought my version of the book from behemoth Amazon. It gave me food for thought on that issue.

If you love books and have ever thought about having your own bookstore (and realize Bermudian isn't a language), I think you'd enjoy this book.


  1. Dear Kenpen - I don't think you're a huge jerk. I think you're great to have read the book in the first place. Thanks for posting this!
    Suzanne Strempek Shea

  2. Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed the book!

  3. You had me at "setting up seasonal interest tables". I must get this book!

  4. I'd love to own a bookstore (a used bookstore with a little bakery attached) so I'll definitely have to pick up this book.