We have a new year and new GLIBA Board members! Please meet Jenny Clines of Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago.
Where do you work and how long have you been there?
I work at the Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books in Hyde Park, Chicago. I have been here for just over a year.
Where might we be surprised that you have also worked?
My very first job was when I was 14. I worked at a small amusement park that was run by my hometown's Lion's Club. I operated rides, took tickets, and did some cleaning. It was a great job for spending a summer outside with your friends.
What do you like to read? What’s your current favorite book to handsell?
I like a little of this and a little of that. I enjoy true crime and memoirs very much, as well as novels. Right now, I am re-reading Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat. It was one of my all time favorites. It is a wholly sad and entirely moving family immigration story, a brief history of modern Haiti, and a heartrending account of caring for an ailing loved one, all told elegantly and artfully.
In the last year, the book that I have handsold the most is Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. It is wonderful! Sarton was a poet, fairly moody and brooding, and this journal follows her over the course of a year while she is living on a fairly isolated farm in the Northeast. It chronicles her daily life doing chores and tending her home and garden; tracks her creative process; and intimately details her struggles with loneliness, commitment to solitude, and the evolution of a handful of her closest relationships. It is a beautiful journal to read anytime, especially if you are interested in the creative process or a solitary life, but it has become even more pertinent in the last year as we all find ourselves dealing with solitude in completely new ways.
Who are you when you’re not slingin’ books?
I am a Texan building a life in Chicago after a decade in DC. I like iced coffee, hot weather, Lake Michigan, sleeping cats, and family Zoom calls.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The best part of being a bookseller is the other booksellers that you get to work with. It is a profession that appeals only to those who are curious, passionate, and creative. My favorite part of my job is that I get to figure out how to make the jobs of other booksellers easier.
Give us three of your favorite bookstores.
Lost City Books in Washington, DC
Fabled Bookshop and Cafe in Waco, TX
Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle, WA