An interview with Olivia Veveiros of Green Apple Books

1. What’s your favorite area of your bookstore?

The zine section!!! (I am biased since I do curate them) It’s also conveniently tucked in a nook near the manga, DND books and graphic novels, which are all my favorite things to flip through on a slow day. 

2. What’s the coolest book cover that you like to have facing out on the shelves?

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix! I love any campy book cover that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The VHS tape with all the 80s hairdos and aesthetics is just perfect and totally encapsulates that novel.

3. If you had a staff pick for a recent new release, what would it be? Backlist pick?

My coworkers are probably sick of hearing me talk about New Animal by Ella Baxter and Nudes by Elle Nash (unintentional name similarity). Both underrated books from small presses. If you love interesting, flawed women and complicated mother/daughter dynamics, these are a must. If you get anything from this convo it’s to read those!

Backlist: Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. It’s dreamy, weird, beautifully written. If you haven’t read this one yet, get a copy now!

4. Do you have a strange customer story?

Not a specific story, but people come into Green Apple clearly on a first tinder date. If you think booksellers can’t tell you’re on a first date, trust me, we know, and we’ve seen some very awkward and bad ones that I’m sure were ghosted. 

5. What author have you been starstruck to meet, or have you gotten to host a fun virtualevent?

Would have to be John Waters. He came in quietly just to sign our copies of Liarmouth and we chatted about art and celebrity gossip. It was great but hard not to completely fangirl.

6. What are some misconceptions people have about working in a bookstore?

Probably that it’s pretty easy work. It’s labor intensive. Moving boxes and stacks of books up and down sets of stairs and being on your feet all day is quite the workout. It’s definitely not as romantic as people want it to be. 

7. What is your least favorite bookstore task? Favorite part about working in a bookstore?

It’s so minor and only happens twice a week but I despise taking out the trash bins. My favorite part is recommending books, writing shelf talkers and curating cute displays!

8. Can you recommend an underrated readalike book for one of the store’s top titles?

We sell a ton of Sally Rooney and Ottessa Mosfegh (like most bookstores) but an underrated title that fans of them would love is Edge Case by YZ Chin!

Olivia Veveiros is a bookseller/remainder assistant at Green Apple Books in San Francisco.