My summer job, as it has been for the last three years, is to work in a small college library near my house. For me, it's the perfect part-time job, since I'm fairly organized, like to work by myself, and am interested in books of all kinds. But those aren't the only reasons working at the library is a pretty good job. I've decided that there are more perks to this job than you might first imagine, such as:
- First dibs on interesting books. If you see something you like that hasn't been put out on the shelf yet, it's yours for the taking (after it's been catalogued, labeled, proofed, and tattletaped so it beeps if someone tries to steal it, that is.) This is especially handy with books that look like fun, or even, in my case, the new Harry Potter book. While I have not read the first six volumes (these people do exist!), I'm tempted to read the last few pages just to see what happens. I figure that if I ever do decide to sit down and read the entire series, I'm going to know the ending long before I get there.
- You find humour in unexpected places. For example, the way Thomas Jefferson looks on the cover of a children's book with a barcode placed directly over his face. Or the barcode placed over a promoting comment on the cover of another book so that the previously praising statement now reads 'forgettable story! Brilliant!' Even the titles of some books are enough to crack me up. My latest favourite is At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig.
- There is time to daydream. It's amazing what kinds of story ideas, job opportunities and memories drift through your head when you stand there for three hours wrapping books in contact paper.
- Free muscle toning. You thought the extent of librarians' exercise was lifting date due stamps and flipping pages? Hah! With all the lugging stacks of reference books, pushing persnickity shelving carts and rearranging furniture, it's practically the next best thing to a membership at the Y.
So the next time you're attempting a comedian position, coming up with a short story idea, or heading off to boot camp, maybe you should consider a stint at your local library as preparation. And then again there are the books...