Meet a Bookseller: Sara Putman

It’s Meet a Bookseller Monday! We’re excited to introduce Sara Putman, owner and bookseller at Bookish: An Indie Shop For Folks Who Read.

How did you get into bookselling?

My business partner and I saw a need for a bookstore in our community. We quit teaching and decided to put our all into creating a literary hub for Fort Smith, AR.

What do you love most about being a bookseller?

Talking with our people about books. We have met so many colorful, bright, thoughtful, tolerant, amazing humans who work hard to make this world a better place. Every single day we have the opportunity to talk to them about the books that inspire them. I feel like I’ve been in a box for 14 years, because when you’re teaching, you’re a bit isolated. I had no idea our community was so vibrant, but I’m so glad the “book people” of Fort Smith have decided to support us.

What do you love most about your bookstore?

Our lovely windows. We have a lot of natural light. Jen and I worked hard on our space. We repurposed a lot of materials to save money in the beginning, and I am amazed at how our tastes came together to create a cozy, happy little shop. And we have a cat. He’s a mess.

What are you listening to right now?

Finishing up The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna – so good!

What audiobooks would you recommend or are among your favorites?

Anything by David Sedaris. I tend to get a lot of my nonfiction “reading” done with audiobooks, and I particularly liked The Real Lolita and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. In fiction, I LOVED Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, as well as Daisy Jones and the Six and Lincoln in the Bardo.

Where / When do you listen to audiobooks?

Cleaning, driving, shopping for groceries, exercising, walking the dog.

What is your favorite thing about audiobooks through

I just love that they support local bookstores. The customer service is amazing, and they work really hard to give booksellers the resources they need. I wish I would capitalize on their hard work a bit more, but right now, there are only two of us. We appreciate everything the good folks at Libro have done to support us.

What do you do when you’re not selling books?

I teach creative writing as a side gig with a school in town; I like yoga and being outdoors, and reading, of course.

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