The Soon-to-be Ex-Bookstore Employee Blues

We were saddened to learn that Reader’s Feast, on Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD, is closing. The 22 staff losing their jobs will bring the total amount of jobs lost by REDgroup’s insolvency to 1,904. We wish all 1,904 of them well. And we thank them for answering all those tediously obscure book queries we pestered them with, especially when we couldn’t remember the author or the actual title and had only the vaguest idea of what the book was about, and for not even blinking when we admitted we hadn’t even bothered to look on the shelves before asking them, and for pretending not to notice our impatience as they looked it up online for us when we could well have done it ourselves, and for cheerfully asking us if we wanted to order it in if it wasn’t in stock, and for ignoring our annoyance when we were told it would take three weeks to come in, and if the book was in stock for spending the time to walk us to the shelf in person even though it was obvious where it was, and for hunting the book down when it wasn’t there, and putting up with us as we prevaricated about whether or not we liked that particular edition, and for remaining heroically impassive and/or betraying only the slightest trace of annoyance when we decided that we didn’t actually want to buy that title after all because we could probably get it cheaper on Book Depository. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Perhaps this bittersweet ‘Open Letter to Customers Shopping the Liquidation Sale at the Bookstore Where I Work’ will echo some of the feelings of staff at Reader’s Feast over the next few days.

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