Employment Opportunities


Thanks for your interest in working at Letters. We are hiring. See below for details.






We’re accepting applications for one to two open bookseller positions until filled. Weekly hours could be as high as ~25 for someone with very open weekend and evening availability.


About Letters


Letters Bookshop is an independent store specializing in gently used books, carefully selected new paperbacks and hardcovers, as well as a children’s section stocked with new and used books. We opened in December 2013 in the heart of downtown Durham, NC and moved a few blocks to a new, two story location in 2021. We’re still in the process of expanding our programming/event and drink offerings.


Job Overview


As a bookseller at Letters, you’ll be in a public-facing role and primarily responsible for facilitating a positive experience for people who visit the shop. You’ll engage people in book talk, give them recommendations, and help them check out, including at the upstairs beer/wine/drip coffee bar. (No prior experience serving alcohol is required, though candidates must be at least 18 years old and willing to take an online seller/server training for this reason.)


You’ll participate in the life of the shop, including helping to maintain a safe and inviting physical space, providing input on inventory decisions, writing reviews for the staff pick tables, and assisting with (mostly) book-related events and special projects as needed. Your role will evolve as time goes on.


You’ll work an in-person schedule at the shop that will mostly entail weekend and evening hours. Ideally, you’ll also help cover one-off shifts outside of your normal schedule from time to time/when available.


We imagine this position will be a good fit for a dependable, detail-oriented person who loves books (and talking with people about them), has strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills, and has retail experience (especially bookselling or book-related experience). Specific experience with and/or interest in managing online sales of specialty used books is a plus at this timeAvailability that extends beyond this summer is also a plus.


Specific duties/responsibilities will include but are not limited to:


  • Helping people select/find books, including providing recommendations based on your own reading experiences, knowledge of current and backlist titles, etc.
  • Operating a comprehensive point of sale and inventory software system, including processing sales, logging special orders and requests, etc.
  • Personing an upstairs beer/wine/drip coffee bar
  • Shelving (alphabetically within sections) and displaying (based on trends, current events, inventory considerations, etc.) books and other inventory
  • Generally keeping the shop organized/tidy and performing specific opening and closing duties
  • Answering the phone and sending and responding to email
  • Occasionally (at minimum) writing short book reviews for the shop’s staff pick tables and website, newsletter, etc.
  • Assisting with (mostly) book-related programming and events


You may be a good fit for this position if you:


  • Are curious, love books, and enjoy talking with people about them
  • Have strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills
  • Have the ability to and interest in engaging and building relationships with a broad range of people (including other staff and the public)
  • Have the ability to juggle/switch back and forth between multiple tasks, maintain an attention to detail, effectively prioritize, and follow through in a sometimes fast-paced environment
  • Have the ability to adapt to a variety of situations
  • Have knowledge of a range of current and backlist titles and/or have an interest in becoming more familiar
  • Have retail experience (especially bookselling or book-related experience)
  • Have an eye for and/or interest in exploring visual merchandising (i.e. displaying books and other inventory in creative and appealing ways)
  • Are available to work evening and weekend hours




Starting pay for the position(s) is $13 an hour. Employees are able to participate in the employee consignment program (i.e. sourcing and bringing books* to the shop and receiving a portion of each sale as ancillary income).


*Up to a cap determined by scheduled hours and role.


To apply, please email a resume and introduction to [email protected] and include “Letters Bookseller Application Spring 2023” and your name in the subject line. In addition to whatever you want us to know about you, let us know why you’d like to work at Letters and tell us about your specific reading/book interests. Please also indicate your general availability.


Thanks for your interest!