Loving to read is not a prerequisite to becoming a bookstore manager, but it sure helps; in that regard, new Books & Books store manager Terry Cleaver is eminently qualified.
Terry is an avid reader who loves works by travel writers like Tim Moore and Paul Theroux, as well as historical fiction by authors like Conn Iggulden, Simon Scarrow and Manda Scott.
“If you throw in a bit of crime, too, you really cannot go wrong with C.J. Sansom or Andrew Taylor,” Terry says, adding that he still counts childhood classics as some of his favourite reading, including The Adventures of Tintin, Asterix and Biggles series.
Many people spend their working day in front of a screen, but a physical book makes you relax and curl up with it.Terry Cleaver
Originally from the UK, Terry has worked in the bookstore industry since 1995. His experience is wide and varied, holding positions in regional and store management as well as project management for new store openings, including buying books, stationery and children’s toys.
On the topic of e-readers versus books, Terry says that tablets are great for commuting, travelling, holidays or helping those with a specific need, but you can never replace the tactile element of a book.
“The electronic format will never do justice to stunning kids’ picture books, pop-up titles or anything with a touch-and-feel range,” he says. “When it comes to adult reading, a Kindle cannot replicate a stunning photographic, art, fashion, cookery or graphic novel title. Many people spend their working day in front of a screen, but a physical book makes you relax and curl up with it.”
As for Books & Books, he sees many opportunities for expansion within all departments, including the children’s department. “The store has a good foundation with regards to local and American titles, but I would like to sprinkle in a few UK-based authors, genres and non-book products throughout the store.”
Terry’s biggest desire is to make the shop a cultural hub for the community at large and welcomes all customer feedback. “I have a brilliant team in-store who are looking forward to the exciting times ahead and are passionate about running events.”