How would you describe your job to someone you just met?
Book finding wizard, lead cashier, and semi-official guide to the city of Portland.
Last book you loved:
The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson and also The Child Finder
by Rene Denfeld.
Where are you originally from?
Hudson, NY, which is in the Hudson Valley, about two and a half hours north of New York City.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a clown for a while, because both of my sisters were terrified of them. But even more than that, I wanted to be a spy. I would practice by watching my neighbors and writing down all of my observations like Harriet the Spy
. I’m sure my neighbors thought it was a little strange, but luckily I was young enough to get away with it.
What is the best part of your job?
My coworkers! The people I work with every day are some of the most genuinely kind and interesting people I’ve ever met. I have met some of my closest friends through working at Powell’s.
Walking into a bookstore, which is filled with such an immense quantity of creativity, is an irreplaceable feeling.
What’s your favorite spot in Portland?
Anywhere within a few feet of my beautiful cat, Nicholas. He is (in my opinion) the softest and most perfect creature in the universe, so being near him is always pretty great.
What makes for a good book in your eyes?
A good book is one that is so all-consuming that I can barely focus on anything else until I finish it. The only problem with books like this are the grief-like symptoms I suffer from when they’re over. I also really appreciate books that make me feel strong emotions, or that make me consider new points of view.
Why do you think bookstores remain so popular in the digital age?
Books have the ability to spark imagination, and walking into a bookstore, which is filled with such an immense quantity of creativity, is an irreplaceable feeling. I think it’s great to see folks picking up reading via ereaders and other nontraditional channels, but for me the act of holding a physical book makes the reading experience more fulfilling. Especially now, when we are nearly always hooked in digitally.
Recommend a book or author you think everyone should read.
The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams. The Phantom Tollbooth
because I love the way Juster plays with the English language, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide
because Douglas Adams is both clever and hilarious.
Walk us through your favorite route when browsing books at Powell’s.
My most common route is into the Gold Room first, and then the Rose Room. I'm a sucker for science fiction, fantasy, and YA fiction.
Do you collect any particular types of books?
I enjoy collecting first editions of Douglas Adams, and my boyfriend and I are currently working on amassing an extensive Tintin