I woke up this morning, (as I am wont to do), and stumbled downstairs with my laptop and two books: the one I was reading and the one I planned to read after I finished the one I was reading.
For the past few weeks and months I have, (horribly as anyone who has ever done the same will know), been wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I tend to ask myself this every year or so, but not for more than a few minutes before something ridiculous comes along to distract me from the dangers of Real Life. Recently, however, I wondered if I should stop being distracted and actually choose a job to do and, perhaps more importantly, where to settle down and do it.
Being 34, I should possibly have done this sooner.
As a starting point I asked myself, (and indeed was asked by a certain someone, who is partially responsible for this year’s bout of self-reflection): if I could do anything in life, regardless of the monetary remuneration involved, (I rarely worry about the monetary remuneration involved), what would it be?
And my answer was: it would have to be something to do with books, and preferably reading.
Work in a bookshop? Sounds great to me.
Work in a not-particularly-busy bookshop, so I can spend most of my days reading the stock? Even better.
Professional book reviewer? Is that even a real job? Can you get paid for reading books and writing your opinion of them these days? If so, I would instinctively feel that I was somehow unqualified for it, but if I am indulging in a “Dream job” list, sure, why not?
I am a biblioholic. I generally have at least half a dozen books on the go at any one time, in various forms, (from traditional paper form, to blasphemous iPod/iPad based; from magazine to pamphlet; comic book to newspaper article), in half a dozen different locations, (in the car; by the toilet; above the bed; beside the TV), and love nothing better than recommending books to friends, (or, on not infrequent occasions, to strangers in bookshops or even just on the street).
This morning, I decided that I was going to start a blog, partly inspired by the inspirational Nick Hornby, whose monthly articles in the not-at-all-religious-don’t-be-fooled-by-the-name ‘Believer’ magazine shall be discussed at length in my first real blog, (this is merely a pre-blog; a blog hors d’oeuvre, if you will. Or even if you won’t).
I get to write, which is possibly second only to reading on my list of non-sexual or -sporting things to do.
I get to recommend Great Books to Great People, (merely by reading this blog, or by having read this far, you have self-selected yourself into this category).
I get to keep a record of all the books I will have ever read from this point, (tricky verb-tense that), as it makes me sad, especially as an inveterate list-maker, thinking of all the books I have read over the years and don’t remember, (and it makes me even sadder when I get halfway through a ‘new’ book before realising that I have, indeed, already read it before).
And, in wildly optimistic theory, if I keep your attention long enough, and get the word to enough people with as good taste as you, (that’s a lovely blouse you’re wearing, by the way), and learn how online advertising works, (for that matter, how on earth does ordinary advertising work? Did I ever buy Holsten beer, or travel with Thomas Cook, or invest with Investec due to their sponsorship of my beloved Tottenham Hotspur Football Club? Well, actually, I did end up investing with Investec recently, but that was pure coincidence…), then at some point in the future maybe I can get paid for sitting around and reading, and writing about what I have sat around and read, and that would be about the most ideal outcome for any fantasy job I could imagine.
So, this is the first entry of my first blog, carved in electronic-stone at 13:18 on Sunday, December 4th 2011.
Hope to see you again!