April 6, 2016

Ask a bookseller—April Gosling from Boulder Book Store


April Cowboy Hat

In life, there are always big questions. But where can you find the big answers? From your local indie bookseller, of course! In this monthly feature, some of our favorite booksellers will answer those questions we know you’re dying to ask.

This month’s guest is April Gosling from Boulder Book Store

Born and raised in Northern Michigan, April Gosling was 27 years old and three bookstores into her bookselling career before she left the Midwest for Colorado. Now at her fifth bookstore, April handles the school, corporate, and business sales at the Boulder Book Store. A department of one in an office near the loos, she’s happy with her window and that she is in charge of no one but herself. Also, she’s celebrating 15 years in the indie industry this year. You can follow her inoffensive bookish Twitter feed here, or her less exciting Instagram here. Or really wherever you might find a SpacePirateRil (or spacepiraatril or pirateril), that’s likely her.

What’s your mantra?

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk replied. “Why are you still carrying her?” (It’s from the third child’s story in Zen Shorts by Jon Muth.)

Your greatest extravagance?

My shampoo and conditioner. Not just the cost of them, but the fact that I’ll pay to check baggage so I can travel with them. I’ve just ordered liter bottles from my hairstylist and I’m pretty sure I’ll be set for the apocalypse. Or for the moment Moroccan Oil goes out of production.

Favorite size of book?

Trade paperback. Or ARC form. Anything else and I’ll stress about it being destroyed in my bag. Lengthwise, I’m down for anything that won’t smother me or leave a mark if I fall asleep while reading and it smacks me in the face. I bruise too easily and having to explain how X-book damaged me would be too much.

Favorite sandwich?

Eating gluten free bread versions of your favorite sandwich is a bit like experiencing the world in black and white after you’ve seen color. I’ve not had a REALLY good sandwich in about a decade. But my mom used to make sandwiches for my dad and bring them to him at work. When he finally had a chance for lunch, he would also give me a bite or two. Those are my favorite sandwiches: white bread, mayo, lettuce, tomato, horseradish, ham, turkey, and cheese. Nothing too fancy; it was Northern Michigan and the 80s.

The sound that you hate the most?

Anything that dings, bings, or beeps in a repetitive and patterned way. It takes about 5 seconds before I’m up and moving away from the noise or looking for the cause of it so I can end it.

Favorite last name of an author?

Delp. His first name is Michael. The strong L noise and that it ends on a bilabial note make me happy. He was one of my high school teachers, and he was never Mr. Delp, just Delp.

The book all teenagers should read?

Okay… I just had to write a list and I’ve narrowed it down to these:

Things Fall Apart by Achebe

King Lear by Shakespeare

Desert Solitaire and Monkey Wrench Gang by Abbey (sub Water Knife by Bacigalupi if you need more action)

Belzhar by Wolitzer

I’ve a mental list of 1503 novels one needs to read to be a complete human being. Some are only on the list because of a line or two, some take the whole novel to get the reader to that next state of cognizance.

These all involve the end of the world, solid eco-terrorism/vandalism, and really crappy parents. Totally valid requirements for a teen’s bibliography.

If you could only play one album on repeat all day long in the store, the full 12-ish hours of the day, what would it be?

Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars. I’d probably be singing with a lot of it, but it’d get me through the day.

What, in your opinion, is a book?

A bound collection of sentences (complete or incomplete) that bring the reader to a different place. Whether that’s bound with glue, string, or code, I’m not going to be specific. A book is the thing that I always carry with me because sometimes I don’t want to be here, y’know?

Book(s) most frequently stolen from your bookstore?

I’m not sure of a particular title, but definitely something secularly spiritual. We were missing a few copies of The Alchemist by Coehlo at inventory. At one of my previous bookstores, it was suggested we sell shirts advertising what people stole from the bookstore: I Steal Bibles and I Steal Dick being two of the more popular designs.