I worked at a nice little independent book store for the past year and a half, and read plenty of good books during that period. Ironically, I read far fewer books than I usually do. I think it's a combination of not having as much free time (I used to read on the bus, or at lunch time - but while working at the book store, I drove to work and got no breaks for 9 hours straight) and a feeling that I had to always be reading something new and quirky. I mean, bestselling books, well, they sell themselves. If it's mentioned in the paper or on Oprah or the Today Show, it will sell. I didn't have to read those books to be able to talk about them and know what they were all about. I felt like I had to spend my time reading quirky books, something off the beaten path, so I could recommend something new to my customers. I also had to keep up to date on books I wouldn't normally pick up for pleasure - children's books, young adult books, art and new age books - so my own personal reading time suffered. Well, I can't say "suffered" - it's always good to try something new, right? But there was definitely a homework feel to my reading over the past year.
But, me laddies, I have a new job, and it is amazing, how my free time has been so much more pleasureable because of it! In the 2 months since I left the book store, I have read the following books:
- I Like You, by Amy Sedaris
- The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing, both by Lauren Weisberger
- Traplines, John Rember
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, JK Rowling
- Underground, Haruki Murakami
- Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
- Women Who Run, Shanti Sosienski
- Can You Keep a Secret? and The Undomestic Goddess, both by Sophie Kinsella
- The Keep, Jennifer Egan
- Anyone Out There? by Marian Keyes
and am currently in the middle of:
- Wildfire, Nelson DeMille
- The Devil of Nanking, Mo Hayder
- Gweilo, by Martin Booth
I mean, that's more than I've read so far this year. Granted, 90% of these books are books that are sort of silly and easy to digest. But I guess I was just craving something FUN for a change. Something I didn't have to write a report on, or feel like I was wasting my time reading. Ahhh.... seriously, it's been such a relief.
Keep this in mind next time you're tempted to tell your local bookseller, "You have the BEST job, just sitting around, reading all day... sigh..."
We hate that, by the way. Don't say it. I'm not joking.