With our 40th anniversary just around the corner, Julia Callahan of Rare Bird Books and former Book Soup glory shares not one, but TWO tear-jerking remembrances from ye olde bookshop:
"I started working at Book Soup when I was 22. I was working as a Page at Paramount Pictures, made no money, and decided working at a bookstore for extra money was the way to go. I had been in LA for about a year and I had some friends, but not many (I knew no one when I moved here). My Book Soup co-workers became family. I remember Ruth and Sue and Amy bringing a bit of extra food with them and making me eat healthy because I was making so little money, I could barely afford to eat. I remember Nancy giving me dating advice. Manny and I fought like siblings. Scott and I talked baseball. Fawn always made me tell her what I was reading. I remember walking into Book Soup and feeling like I was home. It felt like someone would care for me there. Like there were people that asked how my daw was going and what was new in my life.
I still fully believe Book Soup is the reason I stayed in Los Angeles. I would have hauled myself back to San Francisco by now if it weren't for the amazing people I am lucky enough to call friends. Of course, the most significant relationship that came out of my time at Book Soup was with Tyson Cornell, with whom I've helped build Rare Bird Books & Lit. I was his assistant at Book Soup and now here we are, five years and hundreds of books later, with a company that just keeps growing.
That store was truly a blessing for me."
"It's no secret that the Marketing and Publicity department used to drink a lot. In our defense, on a good day we worked 12 hours, but normally we were there for 14-16 hours. Still, we drank a lot. I'm not sure when it began, perhaps before I ever came to Book Soup, but at 5pm every day we had what we called Draper Time (after Don Draper from Mad Men). We'd all go over to Red Rock or Mirabelle and have a few drinks, chat for a while, and then go back to work.
It's a memory that seems like it can only happen in your 20s. Going to that bar across the street from your office where everybody knows your name. We drank whiskey and talked books and got to know each other in that special way that people who work closely together for very long days go. It is one of my favorite memories. Every time I drive by State (which used to be Red Rock), different memories flood back. Great times. Great friends. Learning some of the most important lessons of my life."
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