Meet the Book Seller - Hanna - Book Hoarder and Receiving Wiz

Describe what you do at RDB in 6 words.

  • Bookwyrm that receives and sorts hoard.

What was the last book(s) you read that you loved?

What was a book you read on a recommendation from someone else that you wouldn't have picked up otherwise?

  • Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

    • I asked a friend if he’d read any Star Wars novels and if he had any recommendations and he suggested this one.  I ended up listening to the audiobook which was a WHOLE experience and I almost ended up with nightmares.  It’s great.  If you like horror and Star Wars look no further.

Favorite reading spot?

  • Curled up on the couch by the woodstove at my family cabin in the winter (especially when it’s actively snowing).

Book(s) you re-read every year?

Favorite part about working at the store?

  • Hanging out with my super cool coworkers and getting my favorite books in other people’s hands only for them to come back to the store and gush about how good the book was.

Do you have any good author stories?

  • I have several favorite author stories and they are very varied in scope.

    • I had the privilege of spending a week visiting schools with The Lady Janies (Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton).  Over the course of the week we bonded over knitting, as it’s a hobby we all do.  They were extremely welcoming and by the end of the week I was initiated as an honorary Janie (I have a signed book to prove it and everything).

    • When people ask me what the coolest thing I have gotten to do working at the bookstore is, I respond with “interviewing one of my favorite authors of all time.”  With COVID forcing events to move online our bookstore had the opportunity to host authors that likely would never have come through our store otherwise.  One of them was Garth Nix.  Nix lives in Australia and when he tours North America for books he usually only hits LARGE cities.  However when The Left Handed Booksellers of London hit shelves we got to host him.  Since he was in Australia and I was in Idaho, scheduling the event involved juggling time zones.  This meant instead of having an seperate tech test Nix and I got onto Zoom about 45 minutes before the event to make sure everything was working.  It also meant that I got to shoot the breeze with an author I had been a fan of for around seventeen years for 45 minutes.  It still feels a bit surreal when I think about it.

    • My coworkers insisted I include this story for its near comedy of errors status.  The set up - it’s early in COVID (we’re talking April 2020) and the bookstore is closed to instore shopping.  We are mailing and hand delivering books.  I have gotten to see some very obscure parts of boise. (You are likely wondering - this is an author story????  It is, I promise.)  I don’t usually pay attention to the customer name attached to the address I’m delivering to, just a cursory glance as I add the seventh address to my maps app.  I think to myself ‘wouldn’t it be funny if this customer is Tony Doerr’s wife.’  I arrive at the house.  It is not apparent where the front door is.  This is not a new occurrence.  I have been to several abodes with sneaky doors.  I grab the paper bag of books, my mask, and car keys.  I head towards a gate.  The closer I get the more convinced I become that it leads to the backyard.  I change course before I get there.  However, it is very obvious that I am coming from the direction of the gate.  As I am heading further up the drive I see two people and a couple of dogs headed my way.  I blink.  I think to myself, ‘guess the customer is Tony Doerr’s wife.’  Tony and his wife give me bemused looks.  I hold up my loot and explain I am delivering books.  They smile graciously and tell me to set the bag on the ground and they’ll just grab it on the way back from their walk.  I nod.  There is a slight curb lining the driveway.  The paperbag of books seems like it’ll tip if I just set it on the ground so I decide to prop it against the curb.  So, under the watchful gaze of Tony and his wife I head towards the curb.  I’m just putting the bag down when I realize that I am almost actively fighting off a branch from a bush and that anyone wanting to pick up the bag would also have to fend it off.  I decided to abort.  So I walk a little bit towards the Doerr’s.  I am getting confused eyebrow action from both.  It’s fair.  I don’t even know what I’m doing at this point.  I quickly just set the bag down, hover my hand next to make sure it doesn’t fall over, and once it appears to be secure I stand.  I wish the Doerr’s a lovely walk and beat a hasty retreat to my car.  I proceed to spend the rest of my delivery shift in an embarrassed haze.  ‘I am never living this down!’ I think, and, indeed, my coworkers love to razz me about the time I almost put Tony Doerr’s books under a bush.  (I have had the pleasure of officially meeting Tony when he stopped by to sign copies of Cloud Cuckoo Land and he’s a truly lovely person.  I did not have the guts to ask if he remembered the awkward interaction).

How did you come to RDB?

  • I was a long time customer.  When I saw the job posting I jumped at it because I have loved books and reading from a young age and also really enjoy writing.  So I wanted the opportunity to work in the book industry.

What is something unique to you that you would like people to know?

  • I am an avid road biker and have participated in The Death Ride alongside my father, uncle, two male cousins, and boyfriend.  I didn’t do the whole 129 mile ride but I am extremely proud to have participated as it was a goal of mine to bike it with my father since I was in elementary school.  Also, I bike commute to work, rain or shine, snow or heat wave.

What are four all time favorite books for you?

  1. Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

    1. I first read this book in 4th or 5th grade and lay my adoration of the enemies-to-lovers trope at its feet.

  2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

    1. I literally stole this book from my best friend in college while she was reading it, finished it one day, and told she needed to finish it ASAP.  To which she replied: “I would already be done if you hadn’t stolen it.”  It’s also the reason I wrote my thesis on female pilots in WWII.

  3. Sabriel by Garth Nix 

    1. I listened to the audiobook of this around 4th grade and it haunted me for years until I could find the book again - I only remembered what the cover image looked like.  Bonus points awarded for Tim Curry being the audiobook narrator.

  4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

    1. I have been a horse girl since I was a wee bean and have loved reading horse books my entire life - King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry gets an honorable mention for favorite book of all time as it was my favorite horse book growing up - but as I got older there were fewer and fewer books that satisfied me.  The Scorpio Races not only satisfied me but delighted me - I would like to live in that world forever.  Murder horses and all.