Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Monday, January 7, 2008

Working retail

I work in a Christian bookstore. We're actually a small chain and new customers constantly get us mixed up with the "competition" - it isn't really a competition, we're constantly playing phone tag with the girls at the other store just to try and serve each other's customers. I adore this job, the pay is horrid (it is retail after all) but my coworkers are a blessing, the customers are interesting, and I get to read books for free!

The only thing I really don't like about the job is some of the books we carry. After being raised Catholic, a passing interest in Wicca, and having sat under Word of Faith teaching and dealing with a church who was very PDL and experimenting with things like contemplative prayer, I'm weary of a lot of the books we have. Our fiction section is our best selling section, and the Christian classics section would collect dust if I didn't go back there and poke around in the eight books we have. It makes me sad that the wealth of godliness in those books is ignored simply because they don't talk about the Apocalypse and demons hanging out on farms. The Christian living section, while having some wonderful books is sadly over run with Christianity-lite fluff. I'm not sure how the owners get the books, I've only actually met them once, but some of the stuff really shouldn't even be on the shelves.

All that being said, I'm glad I'm here. Because of my background I'm able to relate to a wide variety of customers, and at best I make them aware of some of the dangers on our shelves and in our churches. Of course these subjects have to be handled with care, sometimes I just point out books that contrast what they are looking for. Deceived on Purpose lies very close to The Purpose Driven Life, John MacArthur's Truth War is on the shelf above Brian McLaren's stuff, I can't tell you how that entertains me. Sometimes I wish we wouldn't carry things like that, but at the same time these things bring in the customers and when I can I'm able to point them back to the cross.

Ah, retail, you bitter sweet thing.

**If you frequent Christian bookstores and see things creeping in that are not Biblical, please talk or email the owners. With so many books coming in and going out I'm sure they don't see everything, but if the customer complains things can be dealt with much more effectively than if the staff says something. It is sad, but true. Unless people stop buying and/or start voicing concern the junk won't leave. If we'll pull movies that are ungodly, shouldn't we also pull books? Please, take time to mention your might just help change the contents of the store.