I get asked this pretty regularly and I wish a had a good answer. Something like, “I was always surrounded by books in the house and my mother was a librarian…”, or maybe “I was sitting under a tree when a Gore Vidal book fell from a well perched reader, when I awoke – six days later…”. Either of these would be better than my usual shoulder shrug and a witty “dunno, just kinda happened”. I’ve never seen a reason why I shouldn’t do exactly what I feel like doing. Once upon a time I felt an urge to travel so I packed a bag and went to the other side of the world, Australia. A few years later I satisfied a teenage dream of owning my own bar and did that for 3 years (part owner). Then the IT (information technology) bug hit. I thought it would be fun to be in the Internet/computer world. Did that for 8 years and met my wife there! My last IT job was being a cog in a huge corporate wheel, a serious case of peon-itis. Another awakening. I realized that although the corporate world paid quite well and didn’t demand any thinking it wasn’t a natural fit for me. We could only wear jeans on Fridays and that really bugged me. By then my wife and I made habits of visiting bookshops and coffee shops wherever we traveled, good times. Thinking back to my bar days I started to miss creating my own environment, seeing direct results of my efforts, making decisions and my jeans. So I guess the daydreams of the bar life just merged with the enjoyment of the coffee and book shops. Why did I become a bookseller? Simple, I’m just doing what I really want to do.
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