Book Review: Checkout Girl

Checkout Girl: A Life Behind the Register
By: Anna Sam
Published By: Sterling Publishing
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Won through Goodread's First Reads Program
Audience: Adult
Genre: Memoir

I don't think I would have picked this book up if I had not won it through First Reads. I mean a memoir about working as a cashier in a grocery store for eight years doesn't sound like riveting reading material. However, I'm not one to knock a free book and in the spirit of the First Reads program I wanted to read and review this one. However, the best thing I can say about this book is it is super short and didn't take me away from reading something I would enjoy more for very long. I blew through it in one afternoon. The book didn't feel like a memoir to me - it read more like a cashier guide with some helpful hints for making the job a bit easier.

The book was supposed to be a humorous look at the career of cashier, but I didn't find the book funny at all. I suppose since I have never worked in retail that I may just be having trouble relating to the material. The writing style is solid, but doesn't offer anything special to set it apart from other memoirs. I also felt that sarcasm was overused in this book and didn't really make me feel sympathetic to Anna; her judgments about customers at times were annoying. Also, everything I learned in the book I also learned from watching the movie Employee of the Month.

I will say that this book really made me think about how I approach the cashiers at the grocery store. I realize that they have so much junk to put up with from other customers that this book has inspired me to make sure I am polite and understanding when glitches happen. 

One Last Gripe: I thought the concept behind this had so much potential. Unfortunately, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed the chapter titles. 

First Sentence: My name is Anna.

Favorite Character: I didn't have one

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one

My name is Anna. I'm 31 years old with a degree in literature and a life story that is both completely ordinary and a little bit unusual

Former cashier Anna Sam offers an insider's peek at what really goes on behind the register. In the wise and witty voice of the college-educated, underpaid retail worker, Sam comments on everything from ill-cut uniforms, to drunken customers, to Express Lane tricks. Filled with hilarious and hair-raising observations, Checkout Girl is a great gift for anyone who has ever been, or had an encounter with, a supermarket cashier.


  1. Hm... yeah. The cover's kind of cute, but the idea doesn't really intrigue me. Interesting that you said the chapter titles were the best. Wonder what they were like.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!