Behind the Bookshelf: Interview with a bookseller, Scarlet Rose

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Meet Scarlet Rose. This native Virginian can be found among the stacks at your local Barnes & Noble by day and local musician by night. She can sometimes be found blogging at SVR and "I loved it!". I consider her my resident Teen (she read the Hunger Games series and John Green before it was even a thing) expert, and word on the street is that she's penned her own book we might get to read one day.

What are you currently reading? Thoughts on it?

What am I NOT reading is more like it. Every so often I get excited (and impatient) about several books at once. I’m currently in the middle of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, and The Sun Also Rises (Audio CD) by Ernest Hemingway. However, against everything I’ve always said about the series and my prior book taste, I have begun Game ofThrones by George R. R. R. R. R. Martin. This is SOLELY because I love the show. I never would have started this if I didn’t love the TV characters so much. The last book I finished was Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham and it was awesome!

What books are you most looking forward to this year?

EASY: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

Did you set any reading goals for 2013? If so, what are they?

I set both quantitative and qualitative goals. I always want to read more books than I did the year before and while I failed at that in 2012, I set a goal of about 40 books for 2013. I’m already behind. And while I think all books serve a purpose, I also wanted to try to fit in a few classics this year, but so far that might just be me reading The Great Gatsby over and over. I guess The Sun Also Rises counts, right?

What three characters would you invite to the bar for a drink?

At first thought, my list is: Jordan Baker, Jessica Wakefield, and Gansey (from The Raven Boys). I can easily think of a few more (Ron Weasley, Four (from Divergent), Matthew de Clermont (from Discovery of Witches), but I think those might be more appropriate for my “After Drinks Party.” *winkwink*

If you could convince any two authors to write a book together, who would it be? Why?

Wow! Maybe Judy Blume and John Green because I think they’re both so defining in the genre for which they write. John Green could have easily written Are You There God, It’s Me Margarat and I would totally believe it if you told me Judy Blume wrote Paper Towns.

What's the most annoying book you see flying off the shelves?

As a genre, I’d say Manga. I hate it. I hate it so much. But book wise? Definitely that cat series for Young Readers. I have an intense dislike for books about animals and this one just looks horrific. Whenever kids ask for it I want to shake them and yell, “BUT WHY AREN’T YOU READING HARRY POTTER?!”

If you could give people one piece of advice to prep them for entering a bookstore, what would it be?

The short answer is: Do your research. 

Now, I plan on expanding:

I’ve worked at a bookstore for 10 years now and I’ve heard pretty much everything. I can tell the difference between the casual shopper who can’t remember a title/author and the shopper who came to the store for a specific book, but has no idea what it is. 99% of people have either a smartphone or a computer so do a quick google search and find out the author/title!

On that note, why do so many people call bookstores? Aren’t we in the internet age? Use the “Find In Store” function. People are so weird. I avoid the phone at all costs! Follow my lead!

“Which book is better?” Really? You’re going to ask me which book on diabetes is better? That’s a nametag around my neck, not a stethoscope. Google it! It’s funny, though, because on the rare chance someone asks me about a book in an area I know well (education, music, YA), they don’t want to listen. Someone recently asked me about a Praxis book and I replied saying, “When I took the Praxis II…” and it was in one ear and out the other. I generally am pretty clear on whether I know something 100% and if I don’t.

“What’s that song that goes, “blah blah blah?” Ohhh, that song! Yeah, no, google it.

“I want a fiction books that take place in castles!” “What!?” DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! That’s not asking for a book recommendation, that’s asking a very specific question.

“There was a book in the Post, but I can’t remember the name.” Then go back to your paper and write down the title. OMG!

I could really go on and on here as even just one day working in a bookstore gives countless examples of people being a holes. Do I sound bitter? Maybe I am. I do really love books, though.