I forgot to mention here that the seasonal job at the bookstore became a permanent one, which I was super happy about. I’m still looking for a library gig because, although I’ve really enjoyed working there so far (except for one very condescending teenage employee, but that’s a different story!), it doesn’t pay that great. There are other perks, to be sure, but I need a real paycheck one of these days.
In the meantime though, it’s an awesome job for a reader. Every day I add about 10 new books to my Want To Read List when I help people with the books they are buying. Which is both fantastic and terrible at the same time…I know I will never have time to read all the books I want to, especially when there are so many other things I want to do, too. But running out of books to read would be a much worse problem.
One of my favorite moments so far was when a little girl came into the store with her mother. She was looking at some snow globes and I asked her which was her favorite. She immediately told me she liked the one with the owl the best. I told her that one also happened to be my favorite because I love owls. Her face lit up and she said she loved owls, too. She even wrote a report about them at school and she started telling me all about different owls and which kind of owl was her favorite. We talked for a few minutes and I asked if she had ever read Guardians of Ga’Hoole. I showed her and her mom the series and we talked for a while about the books (which, in case you haven’t read them, are awesome!). She was so thrilled about finding a whole series of books about owls, you could just see the excitement on her face as she left the store with the first two books.
That’s the kind of thing I really like about my job. And that doesn’t just happen with kids, either. There is an amazing older lady that comes in a lot and I love talking to her. We just chat about what we’ve read lately and I always find myself writing down her recommendations and she always leaves with something I’ve told her about. She even brought her daughter in to meet me at the beginning of January, too.
For a while there, I was really unsure about what I wanted to do with my degree when I was done. Every new position announcement I saw sounded so interesting, and each new class made me think, “Oh, maybe I want to do this!” But the more I work at the bookstore, the more I think I was right in the beginning about public librarianship. I just really enjoy talking to other readers about books – I’m under no illusions that everyone who comes into a library is crazy about books, just like not everyone who comes into a bookstore is, but the wonderful conversations I’ve had with readers far outweigh the negative interactions that are an inescapable part of working with the public. I wouldn’t say no to a position in another setting…I certainly can’t afford to, but I think it’s interesting that this little part time job has shown me how much I would love working in a public library. And that I could be really great at it, too. I just have to get my foot in the door.