I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (More than a year)
Freedom of expression, free ARC books, positions you "in the know" about what going on in pop culture. Opportunity for rapid advancement. Booksellers = great people
Late shifts. Besides typical retail customer trouble, B&N is hurting, so things like membership sales goals soar to unrealistic levels. The demand from regional and higher management creates unnecessary tension between store management and workers. Sales goals without incentives insult and don't reward the worker.
Advice to Management
Hire people when you say you will and hire lots, because 2 or 3 will drop out from the strain, every time. Don't blame the holiday chaos on booksellers, when the shift is 60% newbies. Your cafe workers do their best with what they're given, and know more about the cafe than you, so don't spend so much time inventing problems that ignore the real nature of the work.
The process was very relaxed. First they call you to do a phone screening, then they bring you in for an in person interview. They'll check up on your references and call you back to offer you a position (or not). They want to know that you're a reader, and what kinds of books you like so that they can put you in sections you'd be comfortable working in.