How would you describe your job to someone you just met?
I work with the store locations to round up every item ordered on Powells.com, as well as on our online partner marketplaces, and ship them from the warehouse to customers around the world.
Last book you loved:
Letters to the Lost
by Brigid Kemmerer. I sat down to read this one night at about 50 pages in and got lost in it. I stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. because I just had to finish it.
Where are you originally from?
Green Bay, Wisconsin. I have been in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years now, and I have no intention of leaving.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian or a landscape architect, but I got a job at the mall record store in high school and never left retail.
What did you do before you came to Powell’s?
I worked at a thrift store benefiting the Humane Society. I wanted to save animals in some way, though I could never work at the shelter because my heart would hurt too much.
What is the best part of your job?
I love a good puzzle. I get to spend my days problem-solving as issues arise and developing new processes to get customer orders out the door swiftly.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
I get to see all the amazing books hidden away in our stores that customers have discovered online.
Share a memorable experience you've had on the job.
I have been in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years now, and I have no intention of leaving.
While cashiering at one of the stores, a young boy was purchasing an illustrated guide to Greek mythology. I told him how much I loved the Percy Jackson series
, and he proceeded to flip through the book, pointing out and describing his favorite mythical creatures while I rang him up. As he was walking out the door, he turned to his mother and said with a huge smile, “She gets me!” I totally get you, little man. I do.
When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love to hike the Gorge, watch terrible movies, and hang out with my four cats.
What’s your favorite spot in Portland?
Laurelhurst Park. I could sit next to the duck pond for hours and forget I was in the middle of the city.
What makes for a good book in your eyes?
When you become so invested in the characters and story, you talk yourself out of going to sleep because you need to finish just one… more… chapter!
Why do you think bookstores remain so popular in the digital age?
I get headaches from staring at a screen for too long, and nothing compares to holding a physical book in your hands so that you can measure your progress through the chapters.
Recommend a book or author you think everyone should read.
Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves
. Four individual stories read simultaneously, this book not only creeped me out nearly two decades ago while reading it alone on the night shift, but I now want to measure my house every now and then, just to be safe…
Do you collect any particular types of books?
Ridiculous cat books. I have an entire shelf at home.
What’s your biggest literary pet peeve?
I read a lot of young adult fiction, and on occasion the author will insert a love story that doesn’t always fit. I prefer that the romance feel organic or be left out entirely.
What’s your favorite book of all time?
The Dream of the Stone
by Christina Askounis. Reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle’s Time Quartet
fantasy world, I found this book at my local library’s used book sale when I was young and have not stumbled across a copy since.