Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Day 21: Dream job

My dream job?  Easy question... it would be one that involved books.  Lots of books.

I have two dreams, in fact.  One is of finding myself financially able to become a student again.  I would love to spend the rest of my life studying; ensconsing myself in libraries and university departments until I retire.

Secondly, of winning the lottery and being able to open my ideal bookshop (the lottery win is an important part of this dream, because living in penury trying to make money from a sadly dying trade does not appeal). 

Like Powell's in Portland, Oregon, my bookshop would shelve new and used copies together.  It would have a colourful kids area with rugs on the floor, all the better to settle down and leaf through the books; a large and well-stocked YA section; a really great music section, with CDs and records for sale too.  There would be squishy leather Chesterfields, and lovely upholstered reading chairs.  There would be huge vases of lillies (a la the bookshop at Salt's Mill in Saltaire), and music playing quietly in the background.  There would be homemade cakes and good tea and coffee on sale.  And there would be me, sitting behind the counter, book always in hand, happy to chat and recommend good reads.

Now, I have worked in a bookshop (Waterstones, 1999-2001) and I know that the reality is a far cry from my idealised verion.  But hell, it's my dream so it can be the way I want it to be.

And, of course, for now I am lucky enough to do a job that enables me to rant on about books as much as I like.  In fact, it is pretty much my job to do just that.  My favourite thing about teaching English is sharing book recommendations with the teenagers that I work with; hearing their opinions; seeing them fall in love with literature.  If my pupils ever think about me once they have left, I hope it is to remember the book-mad teacher with the overly loud laugh, who briefly convinced them that in  Shakespeare, or Louis Sachar, or Bali Rai, or Wilfred Owen, they can find the answer to everything.


  1. That's a lovely dream job. One of my favorite bookshops is the one in the movie Hannah and her Sisters. I saw the outside of it by chance when I was in NYC years ago. Doubt that the exterior shots and the interior shots are of the same bookstore, but they're both equally fascinating.

  2. Your bookshop would be my favourite, it sounds exactly like how a bookshop would be in my imagination. Teaching English comes as a good second though, like you say, you can still share your book recommendations! I'm not really in a (future) job where that would be possible, so my friends are now victims of my book recommendations :)

  3. You know owning a bookshop was the second idea I didn't write about in my post but it's always been up there. I'd also love to study FOREVER...not going to happen though.
    This post is so similar to what I nearly wrote :)

  4. There really needs to be more bookshops like this; they sound like heaven! Xo