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Bookstore Employees Gone Wild

Little did you know what a wild crew bookstore employees are. Now, thanks to Greta J. and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda, you do.

“The Librairie Mollat in France is attracting quite a lot of attention to their Instagram page after employees started noticing how closely their store’s books resembled their customers and themselves.

Their cheeky photos show how book covers fit unusually well into the frames of everyday life, especially when they mirror the people holding them. It’s a classic example of clever French wit, and Mollat’s 21.2k followers are hooked on it. Mollat was the first independent bookstore in France, opening its doors in 1896 in Bordeaux, a legacy its current employees are only helping to bolster.

Have a peak at some of the funniest – and eeriest – juxtapositions below.”

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Interview with Sharon Hearn of Children’s Book World in LA

CBW

What makes your bookstore different and special?

The two factor’s that contribute to Children Book World’s success are our expansive, multicultural, selection of titles and our superior staff that does an excellent job of helping customers choose just the right book for each child and assisting teachers with their classroom needs.

With a selection of over 80,000 titles, and a staff that tries to read as many of those titles as possible, Children’s Book World’s booksellers are dedicated to getting the right books into the hands of the right kids, whether by talking to children directly, or talking to their teachers, librarians, parents, and other concerned adults.

We carry everything from books for newborns to books for teenagers. We carry not only the best of the new books, but an in-depth selection of  backlist (previously published) titles, including contemporary and traditional classics and old favorites, in addition to a large selection of nonfiction and books for life’s transitions and challenges (birth of a sibling, death, moving, etc.).  At Children’s Book World, in addition to fiction and picture books, you’ll find sections devoted to religion, history, geography, poetry, sports, architecture, Shakespeare, mythology, fairy tales and world folklore, transportation, science, dance, music, art appreciation, feelings, manners, parenting, and much, much more.

How was your bookstore started, and with what goals?

Children’s Book World has been working to inspire children’s love of reading for nearly 27 years, opening October 6, 1986.  I was a reading teacher for nearly three years, and had the dream of opening a bookshop that would be a  treasure trove of children’s books.  While saving money to open the bookshop, I ran a school book fair company out of my parents’ garage (I was in an apartment at the time) for 7 years, bringing a mobile bookshop of children’s books to schools for up to a week at a time, for fund raising events.  I then opened Chidlren’s Book World in 1986 and continued to also offer school book fairs for another 7 years, until I sold the book fair division to concentrate fully on the shop.

With our diverse, abundant stock and its library-inspired organization, aided by the assistance of our highly knowledgable booksellers, we continue to strive to be an educational and community resource.

We have a commitment to reaching out to children all across the city, not just our core customers of families who can afford to buy books for the children in their life. Through our non-profit organization Children’s Book Recycling Program, founded in 1997, we collect “gently used” book donations, which we organize by age and subject in a storage facility behind the bookshop. Staff from literacy programs, low income schools, and non-profit organizations working with underserved kids can arrange to come in to gather the books their children need from our selection. Recipients are invited to come back every 6 months to replenish their collections. We have provided recycled books to over 200 under-served schools and organizations.

In conjunction with Dav Pilkey’s visit to Children’s Book World this past fall, we held a drive for fans to donate new books for distribution to foster children through the Edelman’s Children’s Court Shelter Care Program. To encourage donations, for each donation a raffle ticket was given for a chance to win a signed Captain Underpants cape, t-shirt, or doll. We were elated that 152 new books were collected!

Do you cater to certain types of readers?

We strive to have books for all readers, from the reluctant and those with learning disabilities to the highly enthusiastic, advanced readers. When a child comes in and says “I don’t” like to reader, we strive to find the books that will introduce her/him to the joys of reading. When a child comes in and says “I really like Rick Riordan and I’ve read all his books”, we can suggest new books that we think will match up with the child’s tastes, and hopefully also introduce new authors and genres.

How do you engage in an ongoing way with your readers?

We host many events each season with beloved children’s book authors, both at our store and at local school and library auditoriums, drawing fans from all over Los Angeles County and beyond. We’ve hosted events with Jeff Kinney, Brian Selznick, Mary Pope Osborne, Lois Lowry, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, John Green, Ray Bradbury, Julie Andrews, Judy Blume, Dave Pilkey, Buzz Aldrin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many, many more

We strive to involve as many children as possible and not limit attendance to children who can buy books. Children’s Book World has donated classroom sets of books to students from low income inter-city schools attending author visits with Buzz Aldrin, Mary Pope Osborne, David Shannon, and Antoinette Portis, so each child could go home with their own autographed book.

What are some of your upcoming events?

We are still confirming our fall events and expect to have about a dozen, but so far we have scheduled events with Phil and Erin Stead, David Shannon, Barney Saltzberg, Brandon Mull, and Elisa Kleven. Every Saturday morning throughout the year, we host storytellers, author readings, musical performers and more entertainment for kids and families.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your book store?

We greatly appreciate the support we’ve received from our customers! We are at 10580 ½ West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA or online at http://www.childrensbookworld.com.

This interview is also posted at the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.


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Interview with Lisa Kovach from B&N Oceanside, CA

Lisa Kovach is the Community Relations Manager (CRM) at Barnes & Noble Oceanside. As the CRM, Lisa partners with the community to support local pre-K-12 schools and non-profit literacy and arts organizations through in-store and off-site events (including book fairs, author events, and children’s events), institutional business, special events programming, and various community outreach programs at the store. Lisa also handles bulk book and NOOK sales for institutional and corporate businesses.

BNOside

What makes your bookstore different and special?
The caliber of our booksellers is unparalleled and truly sets us apart. From college students to teachers, our booksellers have a diverse set of skills and interests that enable them to make expert recommendations to our customers. Our booksellers’ passions are eclectic but our commitment to service is shared and the customer experience is more engaging as a result.

Do you carry products beyond books?
Yes, we definitely offer more than just books! We have a wide selection of products including our eReader devices, such as the NOOK HD and Simple Touch, home and gift items, music, television and movies, toys and games as well as magazines. We also have an amazing Café, which has everything you could need, such as Starbucks coffee, sandwiches and soups, Cheesecake Factory Bakery desserts, fresh-baked cookies and desserts and Harney & Sons teas.

Henry: Come for the books, stay for dessert. Cheesecake? I may never leave.

Do you offer book-related services to your customers?
Every month we have two book clubs that meet in our café to discuss select titles. We have a fiction book club, which has been around for more than 10 years, and a science fiction book club that will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this August. The club’s members include Barnes & Noble employees, as well as customers.

Do you cater to certain types of readers?
As the world’s largest booksellers we encourage all types of readers and we do not cater to a specific genre or type of reader. However, since we are near a military base, we do have a large selection of military books.

What are some of your upcoming events?
Some upcoming events include:
July 27, 4:30 pm – Catherine Follestad
July 29, 3:30 pm – Lean to Read and Write with LeapFrog
July 31, 11:00 am – Carlsbad High School Lancer Dancers
August 10, 7:30 pm – Fiction Literature Book Group

We also have regularly scheduled events, including Mom & Tot storytime every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and a Pajamarama storytime every Friday at 7 p.m. During Pajamarama, kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas. We also host NOOK University every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., where customers can learn everything they need to know about NOOK.

Henry: Kids have all the fun. When I wear my pajamas in a B&N, it’s just creepy.

How do you engage in an ongoing way with your customers?
Our goal is to make every customers’ experience in our store a positive one and for them to leave our store with a smile on their face and a book in their hand. One of the ways we aim to provide a positive experience and engage with our customers is through offering excellent customer service and going above and beyond for our customers. We also engage with our customers by offering fun and exciting events that our customers would be interested in. Through our events we can engage with our customers and develop relationships with them that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your book store?
Our bookstore is more than just books. It really is a place for families and friends to come, find what they need – whether that is a new fiction release, their favorite children’s book or one of our items from toys and games -, visit our Café, meet up with friends, and  have an overall great experience that makes them want to return again and again.

This article is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.


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Spotlight on Barnes & Noble Carmel Valley/Del Mar (San Diego)

BNDM

What makes your bookstore different and special?

Our Booksellers are what makes this store so special.  The booksellers are avid readers, so a customer can always get a recommendation.  Our kids booksellers read many of the new titles and have vast product knowledge for all ages.  We feel this is what sets us apart from online bookstores like Amazon.

How was your bookstore started, and with what goals?

Barnes and Noble ‘s beginnings can be traced to 1873, when Charles M. Barnes started a books business from his home in Wheaton, Illinois.  In 1917, his son, William, went to New York to join G. Clifford Noble in establishing Barnes and Noble.  The company developed a world wide reputation for excellence by serving millions of customers with its comprehensive selection of general trade books, academic titles and textbooks and medical books.

Do you cater to certain types of readers?

We have books for everyone; bestsellers for people who want the new books as well as the ability get that older backlist title. With the addition of our E-reader NOOK, we can get books into everyone’s hands any time any where.

What are some of your upcoming events?

We had a customer appreciation event June 28-30 that included Curious George here for the kids.

Henry: And, of course, I’m looking forward to scheduling a Twignibble signing at your store. 🙂

How do you engage in an ongoing way with your readers?

We have a Facebook page at Barnes and Noble Del Mar as well as a display of bookseller recommends.  Our booksellers are always ready to discuss a great book.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your book store?

We are open everyday from 9:00am to 9:00pm.

We are located at 12835 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130. 858-481-4038

Our Kids Lead Deborah Gatto is available to recommend a great children’s book for any age.

This article is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.