Thank you to Susan @Bloggin’ bout Books who submitted the original topic for this week, “Bookish Jobs I Would Do For Free (Real or Imaginary).”
I’m tweaking it a little because from what I have observed there’s already too much pressure to work for free in a lot of interests that attract people who are passionate about them. If you are a woman and belong to certain niche groups, the pressure can be even stronger due to stereotypes about women being inherently kinder and more generous than men (speaking again here in my experience. Your mileage may vary!)
This wouldn’t be a problem if we lived in a Star Trek world where everyone’s needs for clothing, education, housing, healthcare, and nutritious food are automatically taken care of for their entire lives.
It absolutely can be an emotionally healthy thing for people who have the time, money, and energy to devote their lives to their favourite topics or causes, but I’ve also seen it misused to extract far too many hours of unpaid work out of folks who deeply care about subject X but whose basic needs are NOT currently being met.
I’m ethically uncomfortable with those sorts of arrangements, so I’m going to be blogging about some bookish jobs that sound cool instead.
May we all someday have such abundance in our lives that we can do cool bookish jobs for free if we wish to, though!
Why It Sounds Interesting: Research is my idea of a good time. Before the pandemic began, I used to go to the library to look up all sorts of interesting topics from foster care to marsupials to the history of medicine and see how much I could learn about them. Now I dive deeply into these things at home instead!
Job: Indie/Small Press Book Reviewer
Why It Sounds Interesting: I know I blogged about this last summer, but there are so many amazing indie and small press books out there that I wish I could introduce to new audiences. I do what I can in my spare time, but it would be awesome if this could be a full-time, salaried position with benefits so that many more authors and readers could benefit from it.
Job: Creative Writing Professor
Why It Sounds Interesting: Even if you happen to be born with an aptitude for writing, it still takes many years of practice to hone that skill. It would be so rewarding to teach others how to evaluate their own stories and make them sharper, crisper, and more imaginative.
Why It Sounds Interesting: Imagine combining the work of a therapist with that of a librarian! Bibliotherapists recommend specific books to their clients based on what their client currently needs, so being extremely well-read is an integral part of the profession which is honestly my idea of the perfect job.
Job: Bookish Event Planner
Why It Sounds Interesting: Word on the Street is a Toronto book festival that’s always well planned and delightful to attend. I wish that the event planners who work on that festival could organize all bookish events! In my opinion, festivals, book signings, book release parties, panels, talks, and other similar things often flow better when they’re designed and organized by people who are already passionate about reading in general and, even better, fans of the specific books and authors being featured there as well.
Job: Audiobook Narrator
Why It Sounds Interesting: A great narrator makes all the difference when I’m listening to audiobooks. I admire people who are able to narrate well and think that is a fabulous talent to have.