How would you describe your job?
When you have questions about our stores or our website, I’m the one you call. Specifically, I help solve technical issues, write training documents and customer support emails, assist with bulk orders for schools and libraries, and sell books at off-site events. It keeps me in constant communication with every department at Powell’s and with our customers.
Where are you originally from?
Orange, CA, right by Disneyland.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be both a writer and a rock star. I think I’m getting closer!
What did you do before you came to Powell’s?
Before Powell’s, I lived in San Francisco where I studied English literature, played music, and worked for a bookstore called Green Apple Books.
What is the best part of your job?
The books, of course!
Last book you loved:
by Jeff VanderMeer.
Why do you think bookstores remain so popular in the digital age?
My songwriting is especially influenced by what I read.
Bookstores are a physical presence. Some folks (including me) prefer to hold a book in their hands and spend time with it. Some folks prefer human interaction. Those are things you can’t get digitally. Beyond actually having books on the shelf that you can touch and explore, bookstores provide a wealth of resources for their communities, whether one needs something simple like directions to the freeway, a list of the best local coffee shops, a quiet place to escape from the rain, or a store to find the perfect last-minute gift. Just ask a bookseller: I bet they’ll have an answer.
Recommend an author you think everyone should read.
. She’ll wrap you up in a blanket of beautiful prose, and then chill you to the bone with something horrifying.
Do you collect any particular types of books?
Books about dreams and ghosts.
Do you have any odd reading habits or book rituals?
When I was studying literature in college I had assigned reading in every class, so I got used to reading multiple books at once. I think the habit stuck with me, because I typically have about three or four going at a time. Also, I don’t always finish books (probably because I read so many at one time!), so I don’t always know how they end.
When you’re not reading, what do you like to do in your free time?
Most of my free time is allotted to music, whether I’m listening to a record from my collection or writing a song on my guitar. My songwriting is especially influenced by what I read. When I’m not performing or writing songs, I do some behind-the-scenes work for a local music promotion company helping to put together showcases, compilation albums, and festivals.
What’s your favorite spot in Portland?
My balcony. It’s a place for both social gatherings and solitude. Because I live on the top floor, I have a bird’s-eye view of my little Southeast neighborhood. In the winter, when there aren’t any leaves on the trees, I can see all the way downtown. It’s my very own treehouse.
What’s your favorite book of all time?
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee.
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