“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”
If you get a bunch of book lovers together in a room and talking about their love of literature, it’s inevitable that the discussion of bookish professions will follow. Here are five jobs every book lover has dreamed of doing—maybe for a minute, maybe for a lifetime—and many have even pursued.
1. Published Author
Upon finishing a truly spectacular book, what lit lover doesn’t think, I want to do that! Writing is cathartic, creative, and kind of addictive once one experiences the magic of spinning a narrative. With self-publishing on the rise, becoming a published author is a more attainable dream for many, though of course we all imagine being the next millionaire success story that the biggest publishers in the world get into a bidding war over. We imagine book tours, speaking events, meeting our readers, and spending our days writing novels that will make young readers turn their final pages and think, I want to do that!
We all want to be superheroes, is what I’m saying.
2. Book Editor/Literary Agent
Perhaps instead of penning our own novels, we lit lovers like to imagine discovering new stories in the slush pile. There are assorted publishing jobs book lovers may think about; fans of travel may imagine joining the sales team pitching books to stores and trade shows around the country or even the world, or artists may imagine illustrating picture and chapter books or designing covers and posters for midnight releases. Yet let’s admit, we’ve all had that moment of: “Writing the next Harry Potter is a lot of pressure to put on myself, but discovering the next Harry Potter, well, that I could definitely do.”
(Side note: Being a book editor is A LOT of work and A LOT of reading…I honestly think it’s easier to write the next Harry Potter.)
3. English Teacher
If only to compile our ideal reading lists, we’ve all toyed with the idea of teaching an English class. (I myself wrote about it for Back to School season!) Folks who love reading and discussing books probably had the time of their lives in the classroom. Starting from middle school years, it’s common to have teachers who exclusively teach English, Writing, and/or Literature classes, so those who want to work with young people or those who’d prefer to work with adults at the collegiate level all have the opportunity to teach.
Once a book lover discovers their local library, there’s no going back. A place filled with books, all free to borrow, no limitations on how many one can take at a time…libraries truly are a gift to their communities. Not to mention, as quiet buildings with tables and reference materials everywhere, an excellent spot for students and writers to camp out and be productive. Best of all, libraries have librarians, the kind and knowledgeable guardians of the stacks. It’s an ideal position for people who enjoy being a resource to others and getting involved with their communities.
5. Bookstore Owner
It doesn’t matter if you’re an e-reader, an online shopper, or have a membership card to a chain bookstore: every book lover has imagined owning an indie bookshop. Running a bookstore is tough business to be sure, especially in today’s market, but there’s romance in imagining our own little Shop Around the Corner, a neighborhood getaway filled with our favorite books and moleskin notebooks for sale, maybe even a café. Working in a bookstore falls under this umbrella as well, but owning our own…now that’s the dream.
What are your other dream bookish jobs? Be sure to share in the comments!