Book Culture LIC Staff Profile: Althea!
As we get ready to open our new store, Book Culture Long Island City, we're featuring staff profiles of some of the great booksellers that will be working there. Up first, we have Althea! We asked her a few questions about herself and her plans for Book Culture LIC!
Althea Lamel - General Manager
Bio: I'm a born and raised New Yorker, though I got my start slinging books in Austin shortly after I graduated college. I moved there on a whim and applied to a bookstore also on a whim, but both places immediately felt right so it worked out. After two years, I missed the east coast too much, and I've only grown in my career as a bookseller since I moved back to my home city.
1) What is your role as a manager at Book Culture?
I've been managing at Book Culture on Broadway for a little over a year now, which includes floor managing as well as a focus on curating book and non-book displays and creating a cozy corner bookstore vibe. As general manager for the new store I've had the opportunity to be deeply immersed in the planning process, and I'm excited to see it all unfold.
2) How did you come to join the Book Culture family?
The first store I worked at was called BookPeople so it was an easy nominal transition. I grew up on the Upper West Side, and when I moved back to the city two and a half years ago and learned that an independent bookstore had opened in my community, I was thrilled to be able to take part in that. I've been with Book Culture ever since. I've loved working at bookstores these last four years, they foster such a wonderful community that it really does feel like a family.
3) What are your areas of expertise?
I read a lot of new literary fiction, memoirs, and essays, though lately I've been branching out into more traditional nonfiction. I try to go back and read more canonical literary work but I often get so distracted by all the beautiful new books that live on our new release tables!
4) What are you currently reading?
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson tells the epic history of the quiet mass exodus of almost six million people from the Jim Crow south to the American north and west through the oral histories of three individuals. It's a massive historical work that's so expertly-woven that, while some of the stories are heartbreakingly true, they're so absorbing it hardly feels like reading nonfiction.
5) What are you looking forward to most at Book Culture LIC?
I'm excited to meet our new neighbors! I'm having so much fun working to create a beautiful book-filled space, my staff is amazing and so committed to sharing books that they love, and I'm looking forward to the day when we open our doors.
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