BAR HARBOR — Mica Perruzzi from Sherman’s Books & Stationary was one of 333 booksellers in the country to be honored in December by bestselling author James Patterson.
Perruzzi was awarded a Christmas bonus through the independent bookstore employee bonus program, personally funded by Patterson in partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA).
Perruzzi told the Islander that she knew a co-worker had nominated her for the bonus, but was nevertheless surprised when she received a congratulatory email in December.
“I wasn’t sure if it was real at first,” she said. But the email was legitimate, and the $750 bonus arrived in time for Christmas.
Perruzzi has been working in the bookstore section of Sherman’s since 2016. Recommending books is different for every customer, she said. She’ll find out what they’ve read, and base a recommendation on what they’ve liked in the past.
As an employee of an independent bookstore, she said part of her job is “encouraging people to get it now, not wait to get it on Amazon.”
“One of my favorite things about bookselling is seeing how excited everybody gets,” she said. “Kids are excited to find the next book in a series they’re reading. Adults are excited to find a new book from a favorite author.”
Her own favorite author is Agatha Christie, a preference that goes back to her childhood, she said. “My dad used to read her, and I’d borrow books from him growing up,” she explained.
In addition to Perruzzi, a handful of other Maine booksellers received awards through the program, including Abby Rice of The Briar Patch in Bangor, Jacob Fricke of Hello Hello Books in Rockland, and Ellen Richmond of the Children’s Book Cellar in Waterville.
More than 1,000 booksellers were nominated to receive bonuses, and Patterson personally selected winners from bookstores all across the country.
“2018 marks the fifth year I’ve done this bookseller bonus program with the ABA,” said Patterson in a press release. “Along the way, I’ve spoken to booksellers who’ve used bonuses to do the things that many of us take for granted — go to the dentist, repair a car, or even buy their family Christmas gifts.
“Booksellers make a difference in people’s lives every day,” he continued, “and I’m happy to make even a small difference in theirs by giving them a little something more this holiday season.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Perruzzi’s name.