Meet the Staff at Broadway: Michael Gundert

What is your role as a Manager for Book Culture?
As is typical of managers at the Broadway store, I do a bit of almost everything: customer service, receiving, merchandising and all manner of odd jobs. But if I were to specify my role in the store, I suppose I'd be the resident busybody.

How did you come to join the Book Culture family?
Quite by accident, but certainly not without precedent: I was a recent college grad in need of work (it was the second time I had moved to NYC, and I happened to pass the store an hour after moving into a sublet on 125th and Broadway). To my great satisfaction, they gave this math major a chance.

What are your areas of expertise?
Well, I do lots of work involving the kids room (the kids window displays are my handiwork), so I'm more familiar with princess figures and stuffed animals than a grown man should be. Book-wise, I tend to realist fiction and a bit of non-fiction (and math stuff, of course). I've also noticed a trend wherein I seem to enjoy picture books in which an animal befriends some kind of inanimate object.

What are you currently reading?
I'm currently on vacation, reading Pulphead (essays) for the variety of its topics, and the beautiful 150th anniversary edition of Leaves of Grass for Whitman's unparalleled joie de vivre. I didn't have room to bring more, but when I return I want to read Per Petterson's new book, I Refuse, and an upcoming, yet constantly delayed, reissue of Tilings and Patterns by Branko Grunbaum.

What's your favorite part of working in a bookstore?
I love that every day requires the use of different skills, often in rapid succession; I feel that it really makes use of my entire skill set. The fact that I get to work with wonderful people, selling books in a beautiful and supportive neighborhood makes it even better.