The Work We Do: Scott Raulsome, Burton’s Bookstore

I’m Scott Raulsome. I’m the owner of Burton’s Bookstore in Greenport. 

A normal day is for me to come in in the morning, open up, take in the mail, walk around, straighten up, and make sure everything’s OK. I’m always straightening up. It’s a never-ending task of putting books back where they belong.

Books tend to wander across the store very frequently and I can spot them from a mile away.

We do things very old-fashioned here. We write everything down that we sell. I have binders full of sheets of papers of every book that we’ve sold.

People come in, I want them to feel comfortable so I’ll learn their name, I’ll know something about them, I’ll remember what they read, I’ll remember something about them. Sometimes people think they’re running in for a minute or two but it winds up being 10 or 15 minutes because we’ll get to talking. There’s a lot of chatting. That’s definitely a big part of the day.

A couple of my friends were moving to California and there was a little bookstore there and I was like, I’m going to see if they’re hiring and I’ve always wanted to work at a bookstore, so I went in and they just happened to be hiring and I got a job. That was my first bookstore and it was great. I spent a year there. I fell in love with reading. I fell in love with the whole industry.

I love being around books and it really never left me. I had a lot of other jobs in between. I went to broadcasting school, I went to grad school for two different programs and I worked for Hofstra University for a decade.

People come into a bookstore because they want to go in, it’s not a necessity or anything like that.

So generally, customer interactions are great.

Everyone either likes to talk books or they need help finding something or they’re there because they want to be there.

As far as the part I enjoy the most and the most rewarding, the most motivating part of this has to be the customers.

But I also love reading, I love books, I’m in the perfect business.

‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes. See the complete list of previous profiles here.