Friday, February 22, 2008

Quill and Quire : Gabriele Schreiber: 1951-2008

Industry news
Gabriele Schreiber: 1951-2008
February 22, 2008 By Michelle Collins

Veteran library sales rep Gabriele Schreiber died suddenly on Feb. 14. Schreiber had worked for Random House of Canada for about 20 years, and since 2005 had worked at the library wholesaler S&B Books.

Schreiber had a passion for books and a commitment to her clients, Random House manager of library services Lahring Tribe told Q&Q Omni. “She established the gold standard by which other people who serve the library market are measured, [she's] who we judge ourselves by,” Lahring said. “She didn’t just sell [books] as sort of a casual thing, she absorbed them.”

S&B president Arthur Gale, a close friend, recalled that he first met Schreiber more than 30 years ago, when they were both starting out in book sales and stayed at the same hotel for a conference in Vancouver. Gale says Schreiber’s unique and personal style distinguished her from other reps. “While she was in your dining room or home, she would really become your friend, and amazingly you’d find yourself buying books from her,” Gale said. “She knew books inside and out, and she would gloss over the obvious titles. One of her favourite phrases was, ‘There’s a great little title hidden in that catalogue.’”

Schreiber also favoured adventurous routes in her travels, recalled Anne Ledingham, national sales manager for S&B. Rather than stay in hotels, Schreiber would camp her way to the Maritimes and seek out mom and pop restaurants, collecting many friends along the way. “Her sales trip would be part sales trip and part adventure,” Ledingham said. “She was very much a free spirit, and very much an amazing person.”

A funeral service was held Thursday in Waterloo, Ontario; Schreiber was living in nearby Bright at the time of her death. She is survived by her mother, Ingrid, and her sister, Benita Laing.