How would you describe your job to someone you just met?
I'm a Used Book Buyer. I get to sort through books and pick out the best ones for our shelves. I also get to work in the Art, Literature, and Social Science sections.
Last book you loved:
Omar Cáceres’s Defense of the Idol
(translated by Mónica de la Torre) debuted in English this year from Ugly Duckling Press. Cáceres was a Chilean poet with an unbelievable biography who tried to destroy every copy of his only book because of errors in typography. Fortunately for us two copies survived, and we now have this weird and wonderful little book.
Where are you originally from:
What did you do before you came to Powell's:
I've been a commercial fisherman in Alaska, worked at another bookstore in Oregon, and at a couple of libraries in Massachusetts.
What is the best part of your job:
I still feel like I remember every word of The Phantom Tollbooth.
Sifting through the huge variety of books that come across the buying counter every day. It’s fun every time.
When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love heading to the beach and getting out in a kayak or paddle board. I also enjoy riding my bike and photography.
Recommend an author you think everybody should read:
Jorge Luis Borges has been my favorite author for a long time. I particularly like his poetry and essay collection, Dreamtigers
. Not one word is out of place!
Walk us through your favorite route when browsing books at Powell's:
I like to start in poetry and literature, make my way up to ghosts and UFOs, and finish on the third floor in the photography section.
Do you collect any particular types of books?
I've been collecting Anchor Doubleday paperbacks from the ’50s and ’60s with covers and typography by Edward Gorey
Tell us about your first memorable reading experience.
I still feel like I remember every word of The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster.
What’s your favorite book of all time?
! It gets better with each reread.