Let's face it: I'm one of those people who loves school. I love teachers and projects and homework and scribbling in those little blue exam books. Shopping for new office supplies is one of my favorite activities, and my desk drawers, all full of pencils, pens, cutesy erasers, markers, crayons, and notebooks, show it.
I'm not planning on returning to traditional school, but who knows--maybe in 20 years I'll change my mind. At this point, I have enough Avid-related homework to last me the next couple of decades. Every day there's something I could be doing--talking to other booksellers, working on the business plan, attending conferences, learning about software, meeting with my real estate agent, talking with potential partners, creating marketing plans, you name it.
The newest project I'm undertaking? Paz & Associates Booksellers School in Fernandina Beach, FL. I've been acquainted with Mark Kaufman at the company for over a year now and have been really impressed with how open, helpful, and resourceful he is. At first I decided to skip the five-day workshop ("Opening a Bookstore: The Business Essentials"), opting instead to purchase Paz & Associate's book instead. And while I've learned a lot in my three or four readings of this huge volume, I'm frequently told by fellow booksellers that nothing beats the in-person workshop. I kept trying to peek underneath the surface, trying to see if there was any subtext to people's compliments, trying to figure out what the catch was--were all these booksellers really as enamored of Paz & Associates as they'd seemed?
Yep. As of a few months ago, I still hadn't heard a negative thing about the company's training sessions, so I bit the bullet and signed up for the workshop. And my nerdy student self could not be more excited. Yes, some of the information we encounter during the workshop will be familiar to me already, but this is a positive thing: I want to get to where lots of this stuff is second nature, so it stands to reason that I need to know it really, really well.
This student is excited about getting school supplies ready and heading down to Florida for the workshop. There I'll meet other prospective booksellers (it's true that I'm not the only crazy one--lots of indie bookstores have been popping up over the last few years and they keep on comin'!) and spend five days in my own little book world.