Hello, and welcome to Ask a Bookseller, in which we at Turnaround ask a bunch of questions to various booksellers. Following on from last week, we have Kim Morris, manager of the lovely West Hampstead indie, West End Lane Books.
What do you get up to in a normal day?
On a day to day basis it is normally Danny and myself running things. As manager I am normally doing the important boring things like returns. Most days we are working super hard but always find time to have a good chat and a laugh with customers as well as drinking lots of tea (an absolute must if you work at West End Lane Books).
What are you reading right now?
I have just finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara which was so brilliant. I am now moving onto the Robert Galbraith (Career of Evil) which I am very excited about!
Name 3 books on your reading list:
Susan Hill – Ghost Stories (this is very high on my list as I am a sucker for a spooky story!). David Mitchell – Slade House, and Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood (I think I’m the only person who still has not read this!).
What is the one book you wish you could sell to everyone who walks in your shop?
Almost everyone that walks in the door I try and sell A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz to (and I often succeed). However I think everyone should read The Coma by Alex Garland.
Do you have a favourite publisher. If so, why?
At the moment I really like Wide Eyed Editions, all of their books are so beautiful!
What is your current favourite Turnaround book?
It has to be We Go to the Gallery!
What kind of books would you like to see more of and what kind do you wish publishers would stop publishing?
I can never get enough of beautiful hardback picture books!
What’s the weirdest book question you’ve ever been asked by a customer at work?
Customer holds up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, points at where it says 9 3/4 and asks “Is this the whole book or an abridged version?”
And finally…favourite book jacket of all time?
Such a hard question! I really love the cover to Animalium, its stunning!
I know we said this last week, but seriously, be sure to pay a visit to West End Lane Books if you haven’t already. And say hello to Kim and Danny!
To read more about Kim’s favourite Turnaround book, click here. We Go to the Gallery, published by Dung Beetle Press, is king of all the Ladybird parodies, being the original. And it’s absolutely hilarious too. We all love it here at Turnaround Towers.
And finally: we are still on the hunt for more booksellers to take part in this feature. So if you are a bookseller who would like to answer some of our questions, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.