Meet a Bookseller: Tonisha Kimble

Happy Meet a Bookseller Monday! We’re proud to introduce Tonisha Kimble, bookseller at WoW Book and Toy Store.

How did you get into bookselling?

I’ve always been a reader–even growing up. When I became a parent, of course I wanted to pass that on to my child. Seeing how hard it was sometimes for myself to find books that featured Black or PoC characters, I wanted to help other parents with their search.

What do you love most about being a bookseller?

Seeing people’s faces light up when they see rows of books by and about Black folks! It’s the best feeling in the world. I get it from the young, the old—all age ranges. With the younger crowd comes the questions and talking excitedly about what they like to read and did I write all of [the books]. With the older crowd comes the stories of how growing up they didn’t see books like this, but how they wished there had been. So interactions like those give me the motivation to find new ways to introduce people to all the great books and authors that are out there.

What are you listening to right now?

A staple in my music rotation is Big KRIT. I have to represent my home state of Mississippi. My son introduced me to Panic! At the Disco, so I’m kind of digging them right now. Otherwise, I trust my Pandora mix to introduce me to new sounds.

What audiobooks would you recommend or are among your favorites?

One of my all-time favorites is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, narrated by Ruby Dee.

Where/when do you listen to audiobooks?

Usually when I’m in the car for a long time or when I’m cleaning.

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

When I’m not selling books, I like to spend time with my son, family, and friends. Usually going to the beach or park if the weather is good. When I’m inside, I’m usually watching a movie. The cheesier, the better.

Kelsey Norris is a writer and former bookseller currently based in DC. She enjoys travel, outdoor activities with her pup, and overcommitting to DIY projects. Find more of her work at www.kelseynorris.com.



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