Quick vouch today because work is whoa damn kind of busy, but over lunch I read this essay by Aaron Burch about how working at a Barnes & Noble in college basically woke him up to how much he loved literature. In fact, he admits to not even really reading much before getting that job.
I know it’s cool to hate on big box bookstores, but this is a fantastic read about finding yourself someplace you never really expected because of something as simple as needing a summer job.
For the next couple of years, this job was how I paid for rent, for food, for all the cheap beer you drink almost exclusively only when in college. It saved me money on textbooks that we normally wouldn’t carry but that I ordered for myself through the distributor program and then bought with my employee discount. It supplied me with books to read for pleasure; I met my college girlfriend. Her being an English major confused me, both because, what was she going to do with such a degree but also because I was still all kinds of undecided. School was something I was doing so I could finish and be done with and then figure out what I wanted to do, while she had a senior seminar class entirely focused on the work of one contemporary author I’d never heard of, which seemed kind of cool but also not like a real thing.