The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior


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A Year in the Life of a Bookseller

From Reader to Reader, Book Recommendations and Organization Tips

As a Barnes and Noble bookseller, I have the unique opportunity to speak to people from all walks of life about books and literature. Whether I am working on the floor or at the register, the opportunity to suggest books or be given suggestions of what to read arises on the daily. My favorite (and least financially productive) perk of working at a bookstore is the amount of books at my fingertips, ripe for the buying. And boy do I buy.

When I’m not working, going to school, or writing for The Warrior, my favorite thing to do is read, so much so, that I began keeping serious track of my reading habits and books to be read (TBR) throughout 2023. I read some of the best books of my life in 2023 and I was able to keep track of them using my carefully planned system, so if you’re a reader who wants to adopt better organizational habits or you’re simply looking for some book recommendations, follow along as I bring you through a year in my life as a book-reading bookseller.

Let’s start with StoryGraph. StoryGraph is an app which allows you to keep a to be read list, indicate when you start and finish a book, rate books, and leave your thoughts for other readers. StoryGraph also uses your reading data to create graphs showing your most read genres, authors, paces and moods. Thanks to StoryGraph, I know that I read 7,576 pages across 26 books in 2023. StoryGraph is free for IOS and Android users although there is an optional upgrade in the app to access more data for a monthly fee.

The next organizational tool, my book journal, is a simple Moleskine journal in which I keep track of what I read. Journaling is by far the best part of my reading routine and can be personalized to any reader’s liking. In the back of the book I keep my ever growing to be read list written out with a color code to help me find entries within the pages of the journal. When I finish a book, I highlight it on the TBR list going in rainbow order and put a Post-It sticky tab on the edge of the next available page in the book in the same color. On this page I rate the book out of five stars, write my thoughts on the book in bullet points and specify what year the book was published and when I read it. While it may sound a little chaotic, the color coding-highlighting-tabbing system is great for helping me find which journal page a book review is on and keeping everything organized in a cohesive way. The rating system, however, may not align with other readers as I rate based on how much I enjoyed the book more than how good it actually was in a literal sense. Admittedly, this rating system lead to more five out of five star reads this year than I was anticipating.
That being said, I want to leave our readers with some book recommendations to get the reading ball rolling in 2024. My top five reads of 2023 are as follows and stand amongst some of my favorite books I have ever read:

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio:
Literary thriller

Normal People by Sally Rooney:
Contemporary fiction

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix:

Float by Kate Marchant:
Young adult romance

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl:

Honorable mentions:

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I hope my experience as a reader and as a bookseller can be of some help to serious and casual readers alike looking to get a handle on their reading as they float between the real world and their worlds within the page. Happy reading!