I recently learned that WordsWorth, the bookstore I used to work at in Harvard Square, has closed.
Working in retail is hard, working in books is very hard, but I met some of my favorite people at the store, got a nice discount, and had a pretty good experience. Some random memories:
-I got the chance to work readings with Junot Diaz and Chang-rae Lee, who are two of my heroes, and Allegra Goodman and some other people, too.
-I experienced last call at Charlie's a couple of times a week.
-Waiting for the 66 Dudley Station bus at 1:20 AM with Rachael and Andy.
-The WordsWorth baby, who is almost 6 years old.
-Listening to Andy and Makoto's punk band play a show at a local drag club.
-Fresh copies of new books, arranged in a 'gentle cascade' on the front tables.
-Special orders, Special orders, Special orders.
-Lunch breaks and a shared locker with Cheryl.
-Advanced reader's copies of coveted books.
-The daily receiving line, little me catching 50 pound boxes off of a conveyor belt.
-Merchandising the windows.
-Ed, the homeless man who 'lived' beneath the stairs. Our manager installed a smoke alarm in Ed's lair when he was out one day.
-Being able to take breaks and go outside to Harvard Square, pre-Abercrombie and Sunglass Hut, when Sage's and Billings & Stover still existed, when buskers played acoustic guitar in the square, in the T station.
-Special guests catching me unawares.
-Tall Brian, who called me 'Chief'
-A section for British Books
-The guy who came into the annex when I was the only person working, who challenged me to an arm wrestle.
-Runs to the Tealuxe with Rhys.
Rest in peace, WordsWorth! And good luck to my now unemployed old friends....