Bookseller spotlight: Deb from The Sun Bookshop
What’s the first book that you remember having an impact on you?
John and Betty, the reader for tiny school children. I remember the feeling of understanding the words on the page for the first time.
Who were some of your favourite authors as a child?
Enid Blyton, Enid Blyton (yes twice) and Dr Suess.
Can you tell us about the store and the community it serves?
I opened my store 21 years ago in the inner city western suburban Yarraville. Our community has changed so much over the years – when I started the shop there were lots of artists and musicians and old people. As Yarraville became a desirable area to live this has changed the artists are still here, but the community has many, many more children.
What drew to you becoming a bookseller?
I always loved reading from that John and Betty book onwards. I am a bit antisocial and often would rather read a book than anything else, so why not do your passion?
What did an average day look like for you pre-COVID? And post-COVID?
Pre Covid I caught a Ferry up from my regional home to the city, worked in the shop, chatted to people recommended books. Met reps worked in the back room . I would spend a few nights at my partners and then head home for a few days of working from home. Now there is no ferry I have spent a lot of time working remotely, when I am in the shop there is not much fun , we are now a warehouse. There are no more Reps face to face. There is a lot of hand sanitising, disinfecting we are all wearing masks and there seems no time to breathe. It feels like the lead up to Christmas everyday, exhausting but without the volume of sales and people interaction.
What’s the best part about being a bookseller?
The books and the people, customers and co-workers.
Any memorable customer interactions?
Worst – the time I asked a customer when her baby was due. She said she was not pregnant, I took a beat then said I thought everyone in Yarraville was pregnant (I did not get away with it but tried, also learnt my lesson).
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in bookselling?
There is not enough time to read, if that is why you are drawn to it. Also having fun at work it is so important.
Who are some of your favourite Australian authors?
Do you have any favourite UQP titles?
How can we follow your bookstore online?