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21 Secrets Waterstones Employees Will Never Tell You

"I don't remember the name but the cover was blue..." Brilliant.

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1. We’re mega passionate about the aesthetic of our sections, to the point where we’re kinda hoping you don’t pick up a book.

It’s no big deal; you put that book down in a place where you know you didn’t find it. NO BIG DEAL.
Twitter: @w2_sophia

It’s no big deal; you put that book down in a place where you know you didn’t find it. NO BIG DEAL.

2. We get a 33% staff discount so our homes start to look like untamed stockrooms.

Ran out of room on my "to be read" shelf. Now I have a "to be read" kitchen table as well. #booksellerproblems

3. And our loved ones always know exactly what kind of presents they’re getting.

Everyone's getting books for Christmas 👍 #booksellerproblems

4. Watching a customer slide a book back on to a shelf in its proper position is almost orgasmic.

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5. We’re constantly chasing after parents if they leave their kids in the children’s section.

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Please don’t leave your children unattended here. This is not a crèche.

6. That dropped apostrophe bothers us more than you’ll ever know.

The shop was founded by Tim Waterstone. Apostrophe, S. APOSTROPHE, S.
waterstones.com

The shop was founded by Tim Waterstone. Apostrophe, S. APOSTROPHE, S.

7. We practise thinking calm thoughts daily when customers ask for “the red, spotted book”, “the one with the woman on the front”, or some other vague description.

8. In fact, keeping calm when a customer attempts to return books with writing in them, or that have clearly been read, should be classed as an art form.

9. They say “never judge a book by its cover” but we develop a sixth sense for knowing a book’s genre just by glancing at its front cover.

Disney Channel / fuckyeahhannahmontana.tumblr.com

Pink with an illustrated woman? Chick lit. Dark and broody? Crime.

10. When famous authors come in for talks and book signings, we struggle to keep cool.

11. We become super smug about getting copies of books before they’re on sale to the public.

When you get an advanced copy and it's insanely good, but won't be out for months. 😞 #BooksellerProblems

12. Writing “Staff Recommends” notes for the shelves brings out the comedian in all of us.

13. And we love putting our book knowledge to good use for decor.

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14. When stacking shelves gets dull, we make our own fun.

Some mornings just end up with me making a fortress out of Metal Earth sculptures. #booksellerproblems

15. Phoenix, the book inventory system we use, was sent from the mouth of hell itself to test our patience.

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“You want to know how many books are in stock? Answer me this riddle with questions three...” – Phoenix, probably.

16. Unsold books get returned to publishers, which means spending hours boxing up the VERY SAME books we spent hours shelving.

17. And we have to get very creative if we do it wrong.

#thatfeelingwhen you forget to put the packing slip in before closing the package so you fold it teeny & slide it inside #booksellerproblems

18. We’re constantly thinking of ways to get excited about asking if you’d like the Waterstones discount card.

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“Wow, that’s a beautiful bag! And is it… Yes, it IS the same colour as our discount card…”

19. When there’s a quiet lull in customers in the shop, we sneak in a few moments to read a book if the manager’s not around.

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20. We can just about mask our absolute delight when a customer asks us for a book recommendation.

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21. And when they come back to say how much they enjoyed the book, we know our job is worth it.