For lovers of reading, a dream career will be spent amongst books. However, as a recent study, analyzed by The Guardian (UK) found, this love of books can often be exploited by employers, with many working unpaid overtime in libraries and editorial offices. Being a lover of books does not mean your only career option is to write; however, it’s important to identify where the high value careers are. High value doesn’t just equate to good pay, but happiness, too, as well as the impact of your work on the world.
Careers in academia
Undertaking an academic career is perhaps the most obvious way to a career involving reading. The vast majority of courses, especially humanities, require a lot of time in books. The humanities remain strong, despite ever-growing focus on STEM fields, with the likes of MIT launching new humanities programs. Depending on your work, you can be self-funding, as many PhD and related candidates can secure funding. Otherwise, the best private student loans will offer you the ability to continue your studies without stress, in turn improving your knowledge further.
The literary agent
As a literary agent, you will spend most of your life reading – at least in part – new books. This should be an exciting proposition for any lover of books, particularly since you will be exposed to new ideas. Literary agents are experiencing something of a renaissance, too. As the New York Times reported in April, publishers are looking for fresh voices, meaning that literary agents are being encouraged to go out with an open mind. For those just getting into the industry, the possibilities are boosted by the presence of a fresh pair of eyes. Publishers can be enthusiastic about your chances of finding a new classic if you haven’t been affected by what would be considered poor titles in the past.
Becoming a librarian
No discussion of bibliophile careers is complete without a nod to librarians. As a very diverse career path, you could end up in state government, schools, or local county facilities. Pay rates may be lower than other, flashier-sounding bibliophile jobs, but there are few careers as rewarding as becoming the custodian of a full complement of books. According to USA Today, librarian is one of the top 25 professions in the USA, due to a high rate of job satisfaction and low stress levels.
What’s more, librarians often act as scribes for the future. In Canada, one librarian has been hailed for her actions in saving climate change and health care studies. In anticipation of a reactionary provincial government coming into power, the librarian has made sure that records will be available throughout whatever political change is undertaken.
Bibliophiles have a wide range of careers available to them, and working with something you love so intrinsically can lead to an undervaluing of your time. Tackle this head on. Find your niche, be assertive, and develop the career in books that you want.