When you’ve owned a bookstore for what Dr. Phibes would have termed “some considerable time,” you have the mixed blessing of hiring many new booksellers along the way. I say mixed because it is often as Legolas described. “For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream.” You see Farmington is a college town, being home to a small branch of the University of Maine, and I have had many great students work here for a time and then move on. Recently I had the pleasure of hiring someone who is a book person to her core, the delightful Clare Fournier! No need to take my word on that; here she is to answer a few questions for us.
Kenny: What is the first book you remember reading on your own and when was the last time you read it?
Clare: I remember reading The Horse and His Boy in fourth grade for school and my classmates and I, in the spirit of rebellion, found it very distasteful in every respect until we were nearing the end of the book. By then we were fully invested, loathe though we were to admit it. I remember making the excuse of “I guess if I had read this on my own I would have liked it better” and one of my closest friends observed “In my opinion the other Narnia books are much better”, but nevertheless we finished it. Looking back I smile at our determination to hate such an undeniably amiable book. I reread The Horse and His Boy just a few months ago for the millionth time and I found it as moving, enlightened and adventurous as ever.
Kenny:The book you recommended to the most people before coming to DDG?
Clare I have been lucky enough to find myself on the receiving end of many recommendations and consequently I am thankful to have experienced countless lovely books. But of course I do try to return the favor and recently I have recommended Crime and Punishment to some friends. I recommend it because it is truly fascinating to contemplate the madness and dissatisfaction of a man who committed an inexplicable crime in an effort to further understand himself and the world. The book is gripping, horrific and thought-provoking throughout, and at the end I found myself questioning the nature of redemption and feeling great pity for the protagonist. Although frightfully consuming at times, Dostoyevsky’s novel is worth the emotional journey!
Kenny: We’re thrilled to have you at the store, Clare!
Clare: I am overjoyed to be working alongside such kind and inspiring co-workers and helping the good people of Farmington and elsewhere find fulfilling and interesting books! I am so grateful for the opportunity to expand my own literary background and help others in this noble endeavor.