Jul 28, 2014

The Anatomy of a Bookseller: Alexander Papoulias

The Anatomy of a Bookseller: Alexander Papoulias
Down Castro Street lies Books Inc., an independent chain of bookstores that have stayed afloat by catering to their neighborhood, stocking cookbooks and children's books thanks to the demand of the growing population of young families. Books Inc has a special secret that sets itself apart from the big box booksellers like Barnes and Noble, it has an author.

Walking by the counter you could easily miss Alexander Papoulias, his tall frame, cropped beard and bald head are surprisingly lost in amongst the other characters who work there. Out amongst the books you find his influence however, for the young author's love to write and love of writing come out in the selection and setting.

"We are what is called a multiple independent," Papoulias said, "we are each able to maintain our own inventory of books and that allows us to cater to our neighborhood." Papoulias' love is in nonfiction, "I've always had a journalistic bent," Papoulias said, "I like to do writing that uncovers, reveals and teaches."

Continuing his education into a Masters of Fine Arts at San Jose State University, Papoulias finds that working with books helps his studies. "That's what has been so fantastic about this place and the program is being surrounded by authors," Papoulias said.

Papoulias finds himself surrounded by authors on a more regular basis thanks to Books Inc's regular author signings. "I've met some wonderful people," Papoulias said, "by setting up the speaking events, the author events, here and at Palo Alto." Of his own writing, "Counsciously I'm not sure, but I would say Steinbeck with his spare style of prose is a big influence.

Papoulias has had some short non-fiction published in the Washington Square Magazine and works on Read Magazine at San Jose State University but has yet to find any outlet for his longer work. "I spent a few years trying to figure out how to get paid for writing," Papoulias said, "it's a dfficult process when there are few out there who will teach you how to do that."

Still, Papoulias works on, using his talents and knowledge to provide the people of Mountain View their literary fix, hopefully written by him someday.

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