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The strange and delightful life of a bookstore clerk

June 20, 2008

Leanne Shapton's Sketchbook, In the wake of this year’s BEA and Paul Constant’s meandering reflections on booksellers and the state of the publishing industry, let us enjoy some levity, or perhaps Zen vacuity, with Leanne Shapton’s Sketchbook, “Shop Talk“, presented by the New York Times:

While you’re browsing the ailes of your local bookstore, someone is reading you. Bookstore clerks are the quiet gatekeepers of literature—they know what you like and they hear how you ask for it. The illustrator Leanne Shapton recently went behind the counters of some of her favorite independent bookshops in New York to ask a few questions: Have you ever kicked anyone out? Do you correct customers’ pronunciation? What’s the strangest thing anyone has left behind?

Good times, good times.

-bd

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