Monday, February 21, 2005

Job advice from George Orwell

Bookshop Memories, by George Orwell. [Via Language Hat]:

But the real reason why I should not like to be in the book trade for life is that while I was in it I lost my love of books. A bookseller has to tell lies about books, and that gives him a distaste for them; still worse is the fact that he is constantly dusting them and hauling them to and fro. There was a time when I really did love books — loved the sight and smell and feel of them, I mean, at least if they were fifty or more years old. Nothing pleased me quite so much as to buy a job lot of them for a shilling at a country auction ... But as soon as I went to work in the bookshop I stopped buying books. Seen in the mass, five or ten thousand at a time, books were boring and even slightly sickening.

Reason #2 not to open a bookshop, which used to be one of my dreams. The first reason, of course, is that I wouldn't make any money, since I wouldn't want to sell any of my books, because I wanted them all for myself! I wonder if working in a library would be any better...I think I would really like to become a university librarian.


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