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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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22 / 100 books. 22% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Jobs I'd Do For Free If Time/Money/Actual Skill/Reality, Etc. Were No Object

How are you all this fine Tuesday morning? I'm worn out and my ears are still ringing a little bit from the fun Sting concert I went to last night. He's 72 and can still rock it. I'm 47 and I'm...really tired! Sting might not need a nap this afternoon, but I'm definitely going to. 

(Photo cred goes to my husband.)

Today's TTT topic—Top Ten Bookish Jobs I Would Do For Free—is an excellent one, if I do say so myself. I thought it up and submitted it to Jana (our lovely TTT host) because I thought it would be an enjoyable one to explore. It only occurred to me later that it may feel a tad offensive to people who actually work in bookish fields. Let me be clear: This topic is not meant to imply that those who work with books in a professional capacity do not deserve to be paid for what they do. No matter how much a person loves their job, few people can afford to work for nothing. Nor should they, especially considering how valuable their time, education, experience, and expertise are. My hope with this topic was just that we could all have fun with it, get creative, let our imaginations go wild, etc. Maybe I should have worded the prompt more like this: Top Ten Bookish Jobs I Would Do For Free (if money, education, experience, actual skills, reality, etc. were no object)

That being said, here is my list. The first five are "jobs" I currently do for free(ish) and the last five are those I would do for free (theoretically, anyway) given the opportunity.

Top Ten Bookish Jobs I Would Do For Free (if money/education/experience/actual skills/reality, etc. were no object)

1. Book Blogging—It's not a job for me and I do get "paid" in books, but blogging is something I would do no matter what. I love it it so much that it doesn't (usually) feel like work. 

2. Book Reviewing—Over the years, I've written reviews for several different magazines. One of them does pay their reviewers, but the other reviews were published in exchange for free books and blog publicity. 

3. Book Hoarding Collecting—I work at this like it's a full-time job, so I'm counting it!

4. Beta Reading/Editing—It's been a hot minute since I actually did any beta reading/editing for friends and other authors, but I've enjoyed doing it in the past simply because reading and giving feedback on a developing manuscript is a good ole time for me. Plus, I generally get "paid" in chocolate for these types of gigs. What's not to love?

5. Nurturing Young Readers—I don't have a teaching certificate or any kind of actual training in this field, but I always (okay, most of the time) enjoyed reading to my own children and making frequent trips to the library so they could pick out new reading material. Volunteering in classrooms and in the library at my children's elementary school was something I also really enjoyed.

6. Book Picker-Outer—Once upon a time, my mother-in-law was hired to be the librarian at a brand-new elementary school. She had a great time hand-picking and buying all the books that would fill its library shelves (on their dime, natch). That part at least sounds like a dream job (not so much handling all the volumes later desecrated by sticky, booger-y, kid germs). I'd volunteer to do deck out a school library!

7. Personal Librarian—On a similar note, I'd dig being a personal librarian at someone's big, beautiful home library. Think Belle and her prince are hiring?

8. Bookstore Owner—Remember how money is no object for this prompt? In this particular dream, I run a cozy bookshop in some quaint little town. I have stimulating book chats with cheerful, always satisfied customers. When the shop is quiet, I relax in a comfy armchair with an engaging book and a mug of cocoa, surrounded on all sides by shelves bursting with potentially amazing reads. Sigh...

I think all book lovers have dreamed this particular dream. Not to burst your bubble, but before getting too carried away with this fantasy, you might want to read The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch. It's eye-opening. Welch—who opened a used bookstore with her husband on a whim without having any idea how to actually operate such a business—says the job is less about reading and more about dusting, dealing with customers, and constantly restocking shelves. Hmm. That doesn't sound nearly as charming as my version. Good thing reality is nothing we need to worry about today. 

9. Hogwarts Librarian—Sure, there are some dangerous books and sneaky students to contend with, but c'mon, this job sounds like pure awesomeness! I'd do it just for a chance to live in the castle and hang with Hagrid, Dumbledore, Hermione, and Co. 

10. Book Organizer—My favorite part about moving last year was organizing my books. Even though it took forever, I loved sifting through them, sorting them by genre, deciding which volumes to keep and which to donate, unpacking them, organizing and reorganizing them on my shelves, etc. Bookish tasks like these make me happy. I'd be willing to do something similar for other people or organizations. Although, to be fair, there's a local non-profit that could probably use my help doing just that and I haven't hit them up yet...

My list isn't very imaginative, but there you go. Do you do an actual bookish job? What do you love/hate about it? What bookish jobs would you do if you money, imagination, etc. were no object? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 


  1. Great list, Susan. Some of these are on my list as well. Oh, if we were all wealthy with time on our hands. :)

    1. If only! Dreams are free at least :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cheryl!

  2. Great prompt Susan! My response is entirely whimsical! ~Carol @ ReadingLadies

    1. I love whimsical! Glad you had fun with the prompt :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

  3. I started book blogging even when I wasn't doing much with ARCs, it is a "job" that I love. I promote library books, books I've bought, ARCs, it's all the same to me ;)

    1. Same! It's just a fun way to engage our love for reading while also promoting great books. And I love that there's a whole community of us, which just makes it all the more enjoyable!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  4. A great list and reasons. I had fun finding books with characters that had bookish jobs and hope that it wasn't too far from what you envisaged for your original prompt.

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. Actually, a lot of people took that route. It's a great twist. I enjoyed reading everyone's lists this week and seeing how different people spun the topic.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Emily!

  5. Thank you for the clarification. It’s an interesting topic for sure. :)

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


    1. I think it made for some fun and interesting lists this week. I had fun reading them all!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  6. First, Sting. How cool! He performed at the state fair here a few weeks ago and traffic/parking was insane. I only remember because my daughter had a soccer game blocks from the fair grounds. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Second, great topic idea to share with us all! All of these are great! I wouldn't mind being a personal librarian. That sounds fun!

    1. I first saw Sting in concert 25 years ago while I was in college. He was just as good this time around. It's amazing how much energy he still has. The guy is RIPPED so he obviously works out!

      Personal librarian does sound like a great job. I would definitely volunteer for that one.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  7. Oh these sound like fun! I forgot about beta reading! That one would be fun! I've never been in that part of the process. I'm luck to get an ARC when they get up to that part! Book organizer sounds like fun too!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    1. The beta reading I've done has been for authors who are also personal friends. That may be the hardest kind, though, because you don't want to hurt their feelings with criticism!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jessica!

  8. Personal librarian would be fun. But Hogwarts librarian would be the best! I'd love that job. Fun list...and fun topic for this week's TTT, Susan. :D

    1. Hogwarts librarian really would be the ultimate best bookish job!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  9. I think handpicking books for a library would be so much fun. I'm already daydreaming!

    1. Right? I would LOVE to do that!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alicia!

  10. Ohhh, okay, I see! I haven't finished my post yet because I wasn't quite sure what the parameters were meant to be, and I forgot to ask ahead of time. But your post is really fun, I'll have to think of some things. In the meantime:

    I don't know if I'd do it for free (under any circumstances), but I used to think being a school librarian sounded like a great job. The perks of being a teacher in terms of school schedules, without the parent conferences and taking work home to grade? While surrounded by the kind of literature I love best? Count me in for a verse! The book-buying would be great too...though maybe not so much the book weeding (raise the levy! we need a new building extension!). How cool that your mom got to be the very first librarian at that school.

    *reads further* Oh wait, PERSONAL librarian?? Yeah, now we're talking. I would in fact do that job for free. Even if half the job was just dusting them, tbh.

    Wait wait, book ORGANIZER?? Oh, that's galaxy-brain stuff.

    tl;dr great list. I think I would actually do every last one of these, except reviewer (ironic, but I'm far too intimidated to do it professionally in a way where the words are permanent! I'm so impressed that you've actually submitted some).

    1. There are no parameters, really! Let your imagination go wild :)

      I volunteered in an elementary school library for years, so I definitely saw the good and the bad. The books got TRASHED and those were just the ones that got returned! Book ordering does seem to be the best part, along with helping kids learn to love books.

      Personal librarian would be the best job. Except for the dusting. That would be the assistant librarian's job...I don't even dust my own bookshelves. LOL

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, RS!

  11. You came up with a great idea for a list, and I thank you for it! And your ideas for bookish jobs are fantastic, too.

    1. Aw, thanks! I'm glad you had fun with the prompt. That makes me happy.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Charl, and thanks for popping in and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

  13. Oooh I'm very good at hoarding and organising books :D

    1. Same! It's a talent :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cassie!

  14. I always though that working as an editor at a publishing house could have been fun.

    1. Yes! If I could go back, I think that's what I would have focused on in college. I've always enjoyed editing.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cathy!

  15. Organizing books is one of my favorite de-stressing tasks! I discovered making this list that my interests definitely lean highly towards the research side of things. Great prompt!

    1. It's a calming task for me as well. And I agree with researching. I've always enjoyed going down fun research rabbit holes :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  16. I agree about blogging! And I feel bad for not doing the topic this week (I went rogue) - I didn't realize you had submitted it! Anyways the personal librarian or librarian job at a big castle or magic place would be amazing, wouldn't it? And a bookstore owner, even if the reality is a little harsher than we like to imagine.

    Thank you for your comments as well. :)

    1. It's totally fine! I go rogue with TTT all the time. Sometimes, it's just what you have to do.

      Even after reading a memoir all about how hard it is to be a bookstore owner, I'm still dreaming about doing it. It just sounds idyllic!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Greg!

  17. Sting!! I've been a fan for years and saw him in concert twice--once when he was alone and once with The Police. Always a great show! And I'm 48, so only a little ahead of you. 😃 I agree, he has so much more energy than I do.

    I loved your topic choice! And I assumed your clarification was implied. ;) I would love to be a book organizer, too!

    1. I saw Sting perform 25 years ago with a couple of my college roommates. One of my old roommates went with me to this one, so it was extra special and fun. Sting's still got so much presence and stamina. It's amazing.

      I thought the clarification was implied too, but it evidently wasn't as clear as I thought and I didn't want to offend anyone!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Dedra!

  18. I too am a Book Collector!

    1. It's an addiction for sure, but my books are neatly organized so that's not hoarding, right?? LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Rebecca!

  19. I love this list because it hits so close to home for most avid readers. Sadly, I will never own that indie bookstore I dreamed about for so many decades of my life. That ship sank along with the domination of huge chain bookstores - and Amazon killing even most of those formerly dominant chains. Blogging is my therapy these days; don't know what I would do without that outlet.

    1. It would be tough to own an indie bookstore right now for lots of reasons. It does sound fun, though! Theoretically, anyway.

      I agree with you about blogging. It is good therapy :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  20. I loved this idea because, as you say, it asks us to be creative and is a fun way to be, too! I took no offense over the topic and am really glad you thought of it! Also, book organizing would be fun! I like to think that's something I don't mind doing (and most the time I don't), but I'm not sure if I'm GREAT at organizing. ;) Thanks so much for visiting my website this last week.

  21. Hogwarts Librarian and Book Organizer sound like a dream! Love it!

  22. Sign me up! I would jump on any of these.

  23. All of these sound amazing! I'd love to work in/with books!

  24. I used to work in publishing, and it was stressful! I think I'm happier not doing a bookish job. However, I would like to be a full-time blogger. I love blogging.

  25. Being a Hogwarts librarian would be amazing!


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