Meet the furry employees of some of our favorite bookstores around the country.
Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Missouri – Meet Spike
Lauren Wiser, marketing and publicity manager of Left Bank Books, said, “He adopted us in 2005 as a kitten and has lived as the bookstore cat-in-residence ever since. He loves to nap on the director’s chair in our used book section downstairs, hide under our sidelines display with just his tail sticking out, and sprawl wherever he thinks he might get the most attention – often in the middle of the floor, or on top of the front desk next to the registers. He does let customers pet him, and likes to drop in on book groups and author events, as well, just to make sure no one forgets about him! He has his own staff picks page.
Village Lights Bookstore, Madison, Indiana – Meet Oscar Wilde, Gerrrtrude Stein and Alistair B. Toklas
Oscar Wilde showed up when the bookstore was still under construction. He just came in one day and took a nap. Thus, Village Lights Bookstore had its first resident feline—a tuxedoed Gentleman Cat named Oscar F. O. W. Wilde, Esquire, B. C. E. (Best Cat Ever). Gerrrtude Stein was found during a rainstorm in another town. The five week old kitten was soaking wet, but stubborn, and insisted on becoming a literary cat. She does deign to respond to “Trudy,” staff says. Alistair was truly an alley cat. Dirty and starving, he started hanging out in the alley behind the store. Soon, he left the alley behind and became the third feline in Village Lights.
Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tennessee – Meet Sparky, Opie, Bear, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Todd Lincoln and Belle
Mary Laura Philpott one of the humans at Parnassus tells us about her bookstore dogs! “There are currently 6 canine employees here at Parnassus Books. They do indeed interact with customers, as all of them love to snuggle.”
Here’s a little more about them:
Sparky — This fluffy little black and white mix belongs to the novelist Ann Patchett, co-owner of our store. He’s full of personality and loves trot around the store saying hello when he’s here. (You’ll see Sparky in a lot of our store pictures!) Sparky looks a lot like Rocket in the Tad Hills picture book series.
Opie — Opie the big hound-dog is officially the “canine manager,” although we’re not really sure what he thinks his duties are. He belongs to our store manager, Andy Brennan. Opie has a deep howl that he reserves for exciting situations, such as when he gets to do his favorite thing ever, take a ride on our #ParnassusOnWheels bookmobile.
Bear — This sweet old mix is a rescue who belongs to our assistant floor manager, Sissy Gardner. Bear is sweet, quiet, and willing to let babies crawl all over him. He is a true gentleman… er, gentledog.
Eleanor Roosevelt — After a scary incident in which she followed a customer out the front door and took a dash across four lanes of traffic, this little beagle with a wild streak was “promoted” to a “prestigious” work-at-home position. Her responsibilities now include sniffing manuscripts of upcoming books and posting interesting bookish news to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. She belongs to me (I’m our social media director and the editor in chief of Musing).
Mary Todd Lincoln — Speaking of first ladies, here’s another one. The smallest of all our shop dogs, dachshund Mary Todd Lincoln belongs to our events director, Niki Coffman, and her big personality makes up for what she lacks in size. Handily, she fits in a purse AND on a bookshelf.
Belle — Belle, a yellow mix, is one of our hardest working dogs, because she actually went to dog-school to learn how to get along with other dogs in order to do her job at Parnassus. She is so well-behaved now, and she, too, loves going for rides on the bookmobile. Mostly she sits in the back of the store with her owner, Catherine Bock, who is our office manager and handles all special orders.
The shop dogs even have their own blog, Shop Dog Diaries.
Read a past story we did on Twin Cities bookstore critters.