The Bookstore I work for is a Corporate Giant. I mean, not like Amazon or anything (especially since they don’t have brick-and-mortar stores). And it’s not a giant in the best of health, more like we’ve been hit by David a few times (except in this case David is a bunch of other Corporate Giants), and it’s not quite clear if we’re going to fall to our knees and tumble over, or if we’re going to collapse into the dirt for our death throes.
If the latter, I really hope it is postponed until the end of 2011, when I’m forecasting I’ll be able to leave the part-time job (and the extra cash) behind.
However! The Bookstore was not the first place I looked when I realized I would need a part-time job to make up the gap between my full time job’s salary, and what I was estimating I would need to bring in to survive living in DC.
The very first place I looked was Politics & Prose, an independent bookstore located waaay up Connecticut Avenue, practically in Chevy Chase. Unfortunately, I received a rejection letter, to the point of “Yeah, we don’t hire full time. But if we’re interested, maybe we’ll call you.” They never did.
But things worked out. I lucked into the job with the Bookstore, and I’ve been mostly happy there. And it looks like maybe it’s a really good thing I didn’t get offered a job with Politics & Prose as they’re up for sale:
The 26-year-old store’s owners, Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, both 74 and so in sync they often wear the same colors without planning to, say they are simply too tired to keep steering Washington’s most prominent non-chain bookstore — a premier stop on top-shelf author tours and a frequent setting for book talks televised on C-SPAN — through the uncertainty of an industry threatened by e-books. Cohen is also seriously ill.
“It’s time for us to stop and let somebody else take over for the future,” Meade said during a quiet interview in the store’s cramped office. Cohen, eyes reddening, said, “I just don’t have the energy like I used to.”
Sad, but I think there’s a decent chance they’ll find a buyer, and hopefully the store will continue as it had.
And if it doesn’t, all it means is the number of events we’ll be hosting at my bookstore will increase dramatically. As our events manager put it, “Motherfucker!” (Pronounced with emphasis on the “Oh god, we don’t have the staff, we’re fucked” tone).