He knows fiction, he knows poetry, and he knows when a customer has garbled the name of an author.
He’s Ben McFall, Fiction Manager at The Strand Bookstore in New York City, a biblio-mecca for many librarians, and especially readers’ advisory librarians. Mr. McFall is profiled in today’s New York Times. Library staff will appreciate why Mr. McFall took a job at the bookstore more than 30 years ago (“It was dusty, dirty, old, and interesting.”) and recognize the special steel-trap mental capabilities that allow him to lead a customer looking for 18th century author Sam Jones to 18th century poet and essayist, Dr. Samuel Johnson.
Mr. McFall even mentions a particular customer who wishes certain books to be placed more prominently on display. We hear you Mr. McFall. If it’s happening in your bookstore, it’s probably happening in our libraries, too. We also salute you for your amazing dedication to books and readers. Thanks for reminding us why we do this.