Thursday, November 3, 2011

Generally Horrible Questions: Anne Holman

Anne Holman
In a first for our crappy little blog here, we're expanding beyond our normal territory in order to profile Anne Holman from The King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Anne's pretty much the nicest person I (Liz) have ever met, so it's perplexing that she willingly speaks to me since I rarely, you know, have anything nice to say.  Booksellers speak a common language, though, and I have great respect for the people who make careers out of selling books to hungry readers.  Anne is one of the best when it comes to that.  So here we go.  Let's see if we can tarnish this shiny penny with some horrible questions.

1. How did you get into the bookselling business?
My next door neighbor was the editor of the Inkslinger at The King's English. She suggested I talk to Betsy Burton [the boss lady] about a part time job, you know, now that the kids are in school full-time etc. Lucky me I got the job! [Way to hold a woman back from her true calling, America's youth! I can't wait until Zorro leaves home....]
The King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah

2. What's the best experience you've had working at the bookstore?
So many but a recent favorite was when a customer came in and bought What to Expect When You're Expecting and The New Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. She said they were a birthday present for her husband and when I asked why, she said she'd found out that morning she was pregnant and I was the first one she'd told. We cried and hugged; nice way to start a bookselling day! [Did I not say that Anne is the nicest person in the world?  Imagine how I would tell this story....] 

3. What book(s) changed your life?
 Skinny Bitch should have changed my life but I neglected to read it.

4. What are you currently reading?
The Voice of the River by Melanie Rae Thon. Love her! [Is this a Random House title?  Maybe I didn't properly explain the rules of this blog.]

5. For Halloween I dressed as A) literary character, B) sister wife, C) sexy kitty, D) absolutely none of your business, E) other.
Professor MacGonagall always and forever.

6. Would you rather....William Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Will Self, William Styron, William Gibson, William Blake, William Butler Yeats, Will and Grace?
Willa Cather [Now this is an excellent choice.]

Willa Cather
is great!
7. What's the biggest lie ever told by a sales rep?
They lie? [...Never.]

8. What's your second favorite bookstore? 
Bookman's Alley in Evanston, Illinois

9. Gianna or Liz? 
Michele Sulka! [Michele is one of the outstanding Random House reps who actually sells books to Anne.]

9. ...Let's try that again. Gianna or Liz?
It was either that or Ron? [Ron Smith is the other outstanding Random House rep selling adult books at The King's English.]
9. ...Seriously? Gianna or Liz?
OK OK it's Liz you know it's always been you! [I don't think Anne even knows who Gianna is.  And she's a better person because of it.]

10. The most depressing book you've ever read? 
Caribou Island by David VannYikes

11. I've never read _____________. And I'm so ashamed.
The Phantom Tollbooth

12. I've read _____________. And I'm so ashamed.
I once read my best friend's diary.  And I’m so ashamed. But it was 35 years ago so what the hey. [Excellent.]
I love this book too.

13. Worst job you’ve ever had. 
A hostess at the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio. High heels and panty hose. Yikes.

14. I wanted to be a ________________ when I grew up.
A Bookseller--I know but I really did!

15. _______________ is my favorite book ever.
The Thurber Carnival. Just read If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox and you'll know what I mean.

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