Bibliophile essay contest – Entrant #4

from Lynn Wienck @ The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

Why I want to be a bookseller, bricklayer, doctor, lawyer, janitor, musician, artist, engineer when I grow up.

Because the measure of a profession is not the honor it brings, but the honor brought to it. Growing up means accepting responsibility and that means selling good books. It means reading them to know their contents. It means making informed choices. It means providing the best — not the most expensive — but the best. The well-written trade paperback on world history has honor. It means rolling up the sleeves and doing the “grunt” work. It means not cutting corners. Getting by, and getting along is not enough. The best in any profession think and act carefully. So, I want to be a bookseller when I grow up. I want to write when I grow up. I want to do mathematics when I grow up. I want to play the piano when I grow up. I want to do art when I grow up.

Books give a window into the world, the past, and the future. I like making them available to others. I like having others discover talents and skills through books. I like having others breathe important concepts as presented by authors.

For those who seek, books make available what cannot be gained easily in any other fashion, a grasp of the world and the mechanisms. These books can be read again and again for complete clarity. Books have depth; they are available; they endure.

Yes, I want to be a bookseller when I grow up. I want to do it well. I want to be all those other things, too: writer, mathematician, artist, janitor, musician. The core remains — doing those things as best as I am able. And that’s what growing up means. And that’s what being a bookseller means. It means being responsive and providing service to others.

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