Behind the Bookshelf: Interview with a bookseller, Pamela Delegge

Allie & Her Mom

Meet Pamela Delegge, mother to Allie and bookseller extraordinaire. This lady is serious about her books and is more tuned in to what books and authors to keep your eye on than almost anyone I know. She spent years handselling books to her regular customers at Barnes & Noble in Reston, Virginia until she and the husband jumped the pond (once again) for Germany.

What are you currently reading? Thoughts on it?

I am in the middle of several books. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is the main one I am reading. It is a tearjerker, as I suspected. He is an author that you can depend to give you a good book. I am also reading a completely different book because I can only take tragedy so much and that is The Humans by Matt Haig. I just started this one and am hoping it is as good as his previous book, The Radleys. Finally, I am listening to the audio Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson, who is one of my favorite authors and the audio is wonderful.

What books are you most looking forward to this year?

There are a lot, so sit down!

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre. Actually, I was able to buy this book from my favorite British book seller and am waiting for it in the mail.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb. This is one I am waiting impatiently for he is my favorite.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Another big favorite.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. This is a debut author that I am hearing a lot about.

The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I had to include this teen novel because I do like teen and her series was awesome.

The Returned by Jason Mott. Interesting fact is that Brad Pitt's production company bought the rights to this book.

Night Film by Marish Pessl. She wrote Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which I loved.

There are always more!

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

Let’s be honest, a reader doesn’t need to stress about how many books to read nor how many are classics. I have loved reading many classics, and there are some books, classic or not, that I will read again. But I have no desire to go back and read all the books I should have read in High School or College. So- No- to goals.

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

Rose and Ruby from the book The Girls by Lori Lansens. They are conjoined twins and this is one of my top five books. They are characters I can still picture in my head today. I loved this book.

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

I would pick Andrea Camilleri and Donna Leon. The only reason is they are my husband Tony’s favorite authors, and they both write about Italy. I have never been a big fan of authors writing together except for Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

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

This has been a hard one for me. I was irritated when The Road won a Pulitzer because I really didn’t like that book at all. I was confused as to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Harlequin (Ha-Ha), but I do like that people still love to read no matter what, so annoyed as I might have been, I still think everyone has the right to read what they want. This is still America!

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

I think you should look at the staff recommendations first, and find a staff member that likes the same kind of books you do and talk to them (hopefully they are booksellers that read). There are so many websites and magazines out there, if you do not have a good bookstore near you. Publishers Weekly, Good Reads, Amazon and Barnes and Nobles also have a lot of good information.