Loving Her Retired Life
Kirsten Cecil, bookseller
Booksellers at the Edina, MN, store have to stay on their toes when looking for co-worker Kirsten Cecil — her identical twin sister is also a regular customer. The two have been confused for each other on more than one occasion.
“Everyone is now pretty good at telling us apart,” admits Kirsten. “Looking for the lanyard is an easy give away, but there were times when my sister was asked to do something when she really just wanted to shop!”
Kirsten’s journey to bookselling at her Barnes & Noble was always in sight. Despite holding several executive management roles in industries such as financial services, state government and private consulting, she constantly told herself that when she retired, she wanted to work at Barnes & Noble. Kirsten’s wish came true — for the past three years, she has been serving as a bookseller and thriving.
“One of the things I love most about working here is meeting customer needs, particularly when it involves some detective work to find a book or author.” Kirsten credits her success in these book sleuthing moments and her success in the store in general to her hiring manager, who answers all of her questions and concerns. “All our managers have been generous in providing learning opportunities,” Kirsten explains. “This directly benefits our customers, since well-trained and experienced booksellers can meet their needs better.”
When it comes to putting the book in the customer’s hand, Kirsten admits she is tenacious. She checks BookMaster (an internal B&N system) and Barnes & Noble.com, as well as used/out-of-print books, and the memories of her fellow booksellers. “I hate to give up!” she says.
Kirsten has a positive outlook, strong work ethic, and a willingness to help wherever she can. She places herself in her customers’ shoes in order to provide the kind of service she’d like to receive.
Kirsten's Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Bookselling As a Second Career
- Every day is different with something new.
- Customers who love books are great people.
- Working in a bookstore is fun!
- Bookselling provides a flexible opportunity for busy schedules.
- She enjoys the camaraderie with fellow booksellers (and book-lovers!).