While still relatively new in LA, a friend of mine said he had heard a lot about this cool bookstore in West Hollywood. We got there just in time for an event to start and sat and listened for a bit. Jen Ramos (who went on to be my boss!) was hosting the event. In that 90 minutes or so that we were in the store we saw Keanu Reeves perusing books and my now husband found Michael Gladis and small talked with him because they had just recently worked on a TV show together. I left Book Soup for the first time wondering "What IS this magical place?"
Over the next few years, I made some big life decisions that included me leaving the film industry and left me looking for a job. The hope was to find something in events. I applied on Craigslist for an event host position. Who ever actually gets a call back from a job posted on Craigslist? Apparently, people do because Jen asked me in for an interview and we had, what I thought, was a great interview. A month went by, three months went by. Nothing. I wrote it off - just another Craigslist job not panning out. Out of nowhere, Jen called me back in for another interview (it really was three months later). The next day I was hired. That was in the summer of 2012 and I haven't looked back since. I went on to work as a Book Soup event host for two years before moving up in the Promotional Department to Vroman's. In those two years, I feel like I saw it all (although I'm sure if I stayed longer I would have seen even more). I worked offsite events in places that if it wasn't for that job I would have never stepped my scuffed shoes in otherwise and believe me I sampled all the passed hors d’oeuvres I could! I talked to authors on an almost daily basis. I loved learning about them and hearing their stories. I helped celebrities find books. I'm sure I had in depth conversations with people that were somebody but I was oblivious to it. I stood 4 feet from Elton John...Elton freakin' John (and maybe I peed myself a little in excitement)! My first ever solo hosting event was for Jess Walters for his book Beautiful Ruins. In his talk he spoke about how he came to meet Kurt Vonnegut and I'm pretty sure in that moment I fell in love with that job and I fell in love with Book Soup all over again.
Looking back it makes perfect sense that I was led down this path to books and events because without knowing it then they have always been some of my favorite things. I’m so happy that I started at Book Soup and even happier that Book Soup is still around and going strong. It truly is a magical place!
Jessica Dickieson is the Digital Media Coordinator for Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. She really did drag twenty pounds of POS equipment to book parties in some of the swankiest hotels and homes in Los Angeles.