Spotlight on Story Time Mr. Steve! Happy 25 Years!

by Jessica on September 3, 2014

Today is Story Time Mr. Steve’s 25th Anniversary with Vroman’s!

We are so excited we get to celebrate such a great employee. Mr. Steve is legendary as Vroman’s story time reader and bargain book buyer. He has recommended thousands of books to young readers over the years. Those of us around here count on him for his book knowledge, sense of humor and eccentricities.

I had a chance to sit down with Mr. Steve this morning to ask him five questions.

1.)  How did you get your start at Vroman’s?
In 1989, I had been working at a dry cleaners for 5 years. My mom saw an ad and said, “You’ve always loved books. There’s a bookstore literally up the road from where you are working now. Why don’t you apply for it?” So I did. I walked in and I pretty much was hired on the spot because I made the Kids book buyer at the time laugh.

2.)    What was Vroman’s like back then?
It was much smaller, physically. It was half the size. We were open from 9am until 6pm. We were open only five hours on Sundays. We didn’t have a story time at that time. I wasn’t the first story time person.

3.)    That brings me to my next question, how did you become THE Story time Mr. Steve?
Haha. We had a girl, named Jennifer Alexander, who had a lot of credentials. She was an actress, a reading therapist and a teacher among many, many other things. She initiated story time and did it for like two years before moving on. They were like, “You’ve seen what she does. Do what she does.” For the first couple years, it was kind of like an imitation of what she did. Then I got more comfortable with it and made it my own thing.

4.)    What’s been the most fulfilling part about working at Vroman’s? What has kept you around…besides people putting up with your sass?
HAHA! You can put that in there too. You know what, in the end, there’s generally a lot of fairness. Just with Vroman’s mission statement is great. We have a great employee discount, all the vacation time. Some retail places don’t offer those things to their employees. Also, over the years I’ve had some really great co-workers and really great friends. Tons of stories that I’ll never forget…better than anything you could read in a book! The story time has been fulfilling. Really, the fact that I do the sale books and can put cheap and affordable books in the hands of people that otherwise might not get them is really good.

5.)    Lastly, any fun stories you’d like to share from over the years?
How many pages do you want the blog post to be? Haha! Well, here I’ll tell you about the Count. He was a regular customer. He always wore either a cape or a trench coat and carried a cane. He used to be a Shakespearean actor. He would come through and you’d ask him, “How ya doin’, Count?” And he’d say, “I’m still breathing, thank you. I hope you’re well” in a very Shakespearean accent. One day, a co-worker said that he had run for President so I asked him about it. Then we became friends! He would come in maybe once a week or once in awhile and then towards the end of his life he would come almost every day and just tell stories. The whole life with the Count was such an adventure!

Take a stroll down memory lane with us! Here are some photos of Mr. Steve from over the years!

Arrgh! It’s a Pirate Party!

And some from our celebration earlier today!

How fitting is it that Mr. Steve celebrates his 25th Anniversary on a story time morning! Here’s a shot from this morning!

Celebrating Mr. Steve earlier today!


Thanks for everything you do Mr. Steve! Happy 25 years!