How long have you worked at Lemuria? Seven years and I’m still learning.

What do you do at Lemuria? I coordinate our employee schedules. Daily, I am the one who makes sure we get through each day with all the puzzle pieces falling into place. I also do a little buying and take care of the cooking section. And I scour the globe for copies of out of print books for folks who wish they weren’t out of print.

Talk to us what you’re reading right now. I’m in the middle of several books, which is nothing unusual; Avenue of Mysteries, the new novel by John Irving, Walk on Earth a Stranger, the new young adult novel by Rae Carson (longlisted for the National Book Award); a couple of graphic novels, Wytches vol. 1 and Saga vol. 5; and an older nonfiction book, Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief. And I just finished Jackson native Katy Simpson Smith’s new book, Free Men, which comes out in February. It was phenomenal.

What’s currently on your bedside table (book purgatory)? I’ve been wanting to read Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series for a long time. I recently took home a paperback copy of book one and then realized I had an earlier edition paperback (from before book two was released) already in my to-read stack! That sort of thing happens all the time to booksellers, and I know it happens to quite a few of our book-obsessed customers, too. It’s a consequence of taking in books faster than you can read them; you surprise yourself with how consistently you are attracted to the same books!

How many books do you usually read at a time? It varies; anywhere from one to five or six. Of course the more I begin at once the greater chance I’ll never finish some of them, so I try to keep it manageable. I’m usually juggling a mix of current/future fiction, something older I always meant to read, graphic novels, and occasional nonfiction (mostly essays/creative nonfiction).

I know it’s difficult, but give us your current top five books.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

(Yes, I do realize I listed only four. Be glad I stopped there because if I gave you ONE MORE the list would spontaneously combust. I don’t know why. It just would.)

What did you do before you worked at Lemuria? I worked at another bookstore in Vero Beach, Florida. Believe it or not, they used the same DOS-based inventory system as we do. IBID rules.

Why do you like working at Lemuria? Simplest answer? For the books and the chaos.

If we could have any living author visit the store and do a reading, who would you want to come? JOHN IRVING, PLEASE COME TO LEMURIA!!!!

If you had the ability to teleport, where would you go first? I can apparate?! Now I’m not so devastated that Southwest quit flying out of Jackson. Um, honestly? I think I’d pop home (to Vero) to say hi to my family. I guess I’m getting old and losing my adventurous spirit.

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