On May 3rd celebrate your local independent bookstore with the first California Bookstore Day. Books published exclusively for this event will be available only at participating bookstores. Eureka Books will have select titles for this occasion, including The Sleeper and the Spindle by famed science fiction author Neil Gaiman, whose contribution to California Bookstore Day is an illustrated edition of a short story inspired by Sleeping Beauty.
SALE IS OVER. ALL MERCHANDISE IS SOLD
It’s official now, we are the final custodians of Serendipity Books, in Berkeley, one of the great bookstores on the West Coast. After a series of auctions, shelf sales, and wholesale sell-offs, we recently negotiated the purchase of the remaining contents (probably more books than can be currently found inside the four walls of Eureka Books).
NOVEMBER 15 UPDATE: SALE IS OVER. ALL MERCHANDISE IS SOLD
Follow the sale on Facebook for the latest information
For all the posts about Serendipity, visit http://eurekabooksellers.com/serendipity/
Serendipity’s iconoclastic owner, Peter B. Howard, predicted this end to the store more than a decade ago.
Talking to Nicholas Basbanes, who was working on the book Patience and Fortitude, Peter said that “ultimately he would like to see the business pass on to a trusted colleague, but if that possibility does not develop, then he is confident that ‘the books will be liquidated in ways customary to the book business…’ Bookstores, he said, ‘are extremely fragile things, and are almost always one-generational, at least in the United States. They reflect the personality of the founder. I have made my business so big and so complex that no one in their right mind but me would ever want to take the responsibility for it.’”
In the end, no one bookseller did take over the business, but many of Peter’s close colleagues in the rare book trade took on pieces of his legacy, and we’re glad we were able to be part of that.
Open Position: Assistant Manager, Used Books
The primary responsibility of this position will be supervising the used book division of the store, including buying used books, cataloging, Internet sales, packing and shipping. This is in addition to the sorts of work we all do: customer service, cashier duties, and general bookstore maintenance, such as shelving and organizing.
Applicants should have bookstore or closely related experience. We are especially hoping to find someone familiar with the buying and selling of used books, but people with experience regularly selling anything on eBay, Etsy, the flea market, or similar venues are encouraged to apply.
To apply (and this is the first test for the position), drop off or mail in a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should provide a summary of your experience and qualifications for the job. We’re in the book business and that means paper. Electronically submitted resumes will get about as much attention as e-books, which is to say the delete key is just one index finger away.
Please don’t spend much time telling us how much you love books or how you’ve always longed to work in a bookstore. We’ll assume that’s the case, otherwise you’d be applying to work at BevMo. If you are also applying to work at BevMo, good luck. Let us know if they carry Cocchi Americano because we can’t get it in Humboldt County. But we’re not looking for someone who is simply looking for yet another retail job.
This is not a cush job, but it is an interesting one (we think). We work hard, all day. You will not have any time to read on the job (a common misconception about bookstores), though we expect you to be the sort of person who reads a lot in your off hours. You will also not have time to be bored. You will be challenged constantly and faced with surprisingly complex problems that need to be solved on the fly. On the same day, you may interact with a homeless person, an avid reader looking for advice choosing a title for a book club, a teenager trying to decide what to read after The Hunger Games, the curator of a prestigious library, and the odd billionaire (and aren’t they all odd?).
As the person overseeing used books, you will negotiate the purchase of used books, which often means house calls. A valid CA driver’s license and insurance are required. You will also need the ability to select the books the store needs and calculate a fair price for them without access to any tool other than your brain (training will be provided). You should feel comfortable negotiating deals and working by yourself, at someone else’s house. (We never carry cash and take prudent precautions, but that kind of work is not for everyone.)
You will be expected to work at least one weekend day as well as some evenings during tourist season and between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The position starts at $12 per hour, full time plus bronze-level health benefits beginning in January 2014. (This benefit package is part of ObamaCare. If you oppose that, please understand that if you are hired, you may find yourself compromising your principles). Like most bookstores, we trend liberal but we are a store and by definition, capitalist, so we actually make some effort to cater to Republicans and Libertarians. We are also more likely to talk about the Giants than the Democrats.
The application period starts now and ends when we hire someone. Procrastination is not a qualification for this job.
Local Eureka author Peter Hannaford, will be signing his new book, Presidential Retreats: Where the Presidents Went and Why They Went There, during Arts Alive on Saturday, December 1, 2012, from 6 to 9 p.m. He will give a lecture at Old Town Coffee and Chocolates (on F Street, near Second) on Sunday, December 2, at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Hannaford, who married into the prominent Russ family (early settlers of Humboldt County), served as an aide to Ronald Reagan for many years. This book grew out of his interest in the presidency.
On November 3, during Arts Alive! (6 to 9 p.m.), we’re celebrating the opening of Peggy Irvine’s new show of botanical watercolors and drawings.
As in past Novembers, we’re having an heirloom apple tasting, and this year Hospice of Humboldt is going to pour wine (donations accepted!). Drew Clendenden, of Clendenen’s Cider Works in Fortuna, David Hagemann from Rio Dell, and David Martinek from Eureka, will bring apples from their orchards to taste and will be on hand to answer questions about growing apples in Humboldt County.