For many part-time job hunters working in Waterstones is the dream position, but why is this job so very popular? As you may know the closest bookshop to Southend High School for Boys is the Waterstones in Southend High Street where they offer two storeys of books and have incredibly friendly staff. After a visit there, the magazine has some exclusive recommendations straight from the mouth of a bookseller!
The first thing you’ll want to know if you want a job in Waterstones is what you actually get to do. It’s just as you’d imagine: you promote and sell the books on special, movie tie-ins and books which are tailored to the local area (in this instance crime seems to be the popular genre). For the most part the books you’ll be promoting and talking about will be the ones that you’re told to sell, but when asked the bookseller said he liked to recommend the author China Miéville for any curious readers. This author is known for his fantasy novels which he likes to call “weird fiction”. This might not be the kind of work for the younger years to read, but if you’re interested in metamorphosis, science and magic, then perhaps you may like to read his novel Perdido Street Station. Obviously, one of the best things about a physical bookshop is the personal recommendations so when asked what book the students at SHSB should read, the bookseller responded with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. As this book has already been discussed in a previous issue of the magazine he also suggested I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. This is an incredible book about a man named Ed who inadvertently stops a bank robbery and starts getting playing cards sent through his door. I Am the Messenger is a novel filled with suspense and mystery which will make you want to continue reading.
As it is the 21st century, it’s difficult to talk about physical bookshops without mentioning the rise of eBooks over the last few years. This is still a problem Waterstones is struggling with today as it’s often easier to download a PDF file than leaving the house to buy a book. Essentially, Waterstones is using the appeal of the physicality of books – the smell, the sound of a turning page, the feeling of holding a story in your hands to sell books and stay in business. The bookseller also said that Waterstones is using that feeling of nostalgia when it comes to books. Most people’s memories of reading involve warmth and happiness. That’s what Waterstones is using to try and stay in business! There are many reasons to be using physical bookshops instead of buying books and eBooks online. One of the most important reasons is making sure the authors are paid a fair amount for their work. Whilst buying books on Amazon may be cheaper, by selling at below the RRP they’re not paying authors and publishing houses their fair share. If we’re not careful the publishing industry could be in danger. But saving the book industry isn’t the only reason using bookshops is encouraged; it’s also a way to preserve your reading and cherish memories through physical tomes.
When it comes to working in bookshops Waterstones is always the first shop in mind; it’s never the independent stores. This is mainly down to the fact that most independent bookshops don’t really hire many other booksellers as they don’t turn over enough profit to warrant having a larger staff. There’s also the fact that this Waterstones is easily accessible to people via trains and buses so it makes sense for people to find this the easiest bookshop to apply for.
Finally, if you want to work at Waterstones I’m sure you’re interested in the perks of the job. Probably the best part of working at Waterstones (and the main reason people want to work there) is the 50% discount off of all books. This includes textbooks as well, which we can safely assume is the reason why students are so keen to start working there right away! Of course, the other perk is that you’ll never be short of a good book. With customers and fellow staff members always talking about the books they love and want to read, you’ll always have a recommendation for whatever mood you’re in.