The good and the bad of bookstore cats

NietzcheEvery job has its clichés – and in the case of working in an independent bookstore, most of them turned out to be true.

I used to work at a shop called The Book Man, and my time there was full of the best bookstore tropes: It was founded by a lovely old man who bought us pastries on the weekends. It was owned by his daughter, which meant it was a shop run by a family of beautifully bookish nerds who loved to read just as much as I do. I was paid overtime in books. People really did come in and ask about the book they’d seen on display last week – surely we knew which one they meant? You know, the blue one?

But the best cliché by far was our bookstore cat. Nietzsche was everything you could hope for in a store cat: he slept in an armchair most of the time, he was named after a philosopher, and people came to the store just to see him.

On the other hand, having a store cat had some surprising – and awkward – downsides.

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