Hello, and welcome to Ask a Bookseller, in which we at Turnaround ask a bunch of questions to various booksellers. In this special edition – ‘Ask a Sales Rep,’ – we get to grips with what makes our very own Benjamin tick. (hint: yellow jackets and tea)
What do you get up to during a normal day at work?
I sell a fantastically diverse, cutting edge and thought provoking list to many charming Booksellers across the capital. Things are always better when they offer me tea (HINT!) I always obliterate my target of fifteen thousand steps a day.
What are you reading right now?
Glue Ponys (Tangerine Press), The Incal (Humanoids), The Talented Ribkins (Melville House) I like to bewilder myself by juggling various mediums and moods, geographies and epochs.
Name 3 books on your reading list:
Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials & The Meaning of Grime by Jeremy Boakye (Influx Press)
Brolliology by Marion Rankine (Melville House)
An Opinionated Guide to East London (Hoxton Mini Press).
Note these books all have yellow jackets.
What is the one book you wish you could sell to every bookseller?
Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley. (sadly out of print since 1991)
Do you have a favourite publisher? If so, why?
Influx or Fantagraphics. Raw ideas and consistent inventiveness. Cool guys too.
What is your current favourite Turnaround book?
Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country (Seven Stories). It reminds me of many friends and adversaries I’ve known and have yet to meet. It also contains a flying couch.
What kind of books would you like to see more of and what kind do you wish publishers would stop publishing?
More science fiction in translation. Less Dung Beetle rip-offs.
If you were to write a book, what would it be about and where would you pitch it?
A road trip gone wrong set in the New Forest, with L Ron. Hubbard and H.P Lovecraft struggling to cope with a faulty Austin Maxi and the raging elements. A nefarious menace is always slightly out of view, skirting and harassing the edges of their perception. This may just be the shifting shadows and undulations of the sprawling heathland though. I think it could serve as a neat metaphor.
It may have to be self-published.
And finally…favourite book jacket of all time?
Many and almost all things by Chris Ware. Especially the Acme Novelty Library. A work of art inside and out.
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 email@example.com.