How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but – mainly – to ourselves.
-from Julian Barnes’ The Sense of An Ending
|Me, Joe Porteous, author Eric Puchner, & Scott Ehrig-Burgess
|I find it strangely poignant that Julian Barnes’ latest novel, The Sense of an Ending has been the book I’ve been reading this past week. (Booker Prize shortlister.) It doesn’t completely resonate with my own personal life, of course, but it is about a man taking stock on his own life – which I have been doing quite a bit lately (to the detriment of my writing & this blog, I have to say.) Shit, just look at the title – all good things must come to an end, as they say.
No, no, not the Book Catapult – after 8 years, I am leaving my position as bookseller, book buyer, website coordinator, social media wrangler, merchandiser, book shelver, coffee talker, and heavy lifter at Warwick’s bookstore in La Jolla – San Diego’s greatest independent bookstore.
Over the years – especially here online – I have come to identify myself, primarily, as an independent bookseller & this is due, in large part, to my experiences at Warwick’s. (Not to mention, my 2+ years spent a decade ago at the best bookstore east of the Mississippi, Octavia Books in New Orleans.) So, of course, I could never just turn my back on that independent spirit completely – in my new life, I will be the Trade Book Buyer at the University of California, San Diego bookstore. With a little time, effort, & elbow grease, hopefully I’ll help turn the University’s store into a spectacular independent in its own right.
I would never have been offered my new position had I not been afforded the opportunities I received at Warwick’s, so I would like to publicly thank all the people there (past & present) who taught me along the way – whether how to be a buyer, a bookseller, a website guy, or a generally good person:
Nancy Warwick, Scott & Kristi Ehrig-Burgess, Janet Lutz, Barbara Melkerson, Adriana Hill Diamond, Joe Porteous, Tracy Rutherford, Kat Kinzer, Jason Perkins, Steven Lesinski, Molly McDonald, Margie Trailer, Pam Fox, Jim Stewart, Phoebe Markley, Julie Slavinsky, Ted Burke, John Hughes, Jan Iverson, and Adrian Newell. Not to mention the thousands of customers I’ve conversed with over the years – especially Will Wainess, Ted Chandler, Norm Eisenberg, Noel Phelan, Ed Cozza, Bob Draper, & Sean down at Adelaide’s. You guys all gave me a reason to come in & talk about books every day – maybe the world’s greatest job – so thank you.
And of course, Jenny.
Thanks, everybody. I’ll see y’all down the line.