I’ve said for a long time that my dream job would something that allowed me to read books, talk about the books that I’ve read or am reading, and drink copious amounts of tea. I feel like this fits beautifully with the name of my blog.
People have frequently replied that this sounds like my job as a high school English teacher, the job that I held until recently. I can see how that would make sense. I had a relatively captive audience sitting and theoretically listening while I babbled about literature. But here’s the thing. I want to have conversions where all of the participants are engaged. And I know that many of my students weren’t engaged. That
may have been was my fault at some level. I could have AND should have done more to get them engaged in the material. But regardless of their initial level of interest, not all of my students had the same interests as I did. No matter how passionate I am about Jane Austen, some of those kids are just never going to be interested in her. And I want to have conversations with people who WANT to have these conversations, not people who HAVE to have these conversations.
I like teaching. I enjoy teaching. And maybe someday, I will be a teacher again. I don’t think that I am a teacher right now. I’m not teaching anyone. But this “job” that I’m talking about, this isn’t teaching. This is the creation of some sort of community (either online or in the “real world”) where lovers of literature and culture could meet and exchange ideas. I realize that the Internet as a whole is somewhat like this. And this also sounds somewhat like a book club.
But I think I want something more than this. I want to have a physical space where people gather and exchange ideas and books. I want to create a space where people can gather to exchange books and ideas. I imagine this to be some sort of hybrid bookshop/cafe/pub. I want to create a haven for people, a place where they can come and feel safe. I want this space to be a sort of home away from home for people, a place where they can come to escape from their troubles and whatnot and just be. I want to create a cozy space, a homey space where people can come sit by a fire with a book and a cup of tea or sit with a group of people and talk about their lives or the books they’re reading.
I want to create a place where people can uphold one another and enjoy one another. I want to provide people with a place where they can enjoy life. I want a place with lovely old bookshelves and comfortable chairs and delightful people. I want a place that restores and renews. That’s what I want. That’s my dream job.
Now all I need is the money to make my dream a reality.