So, I recently had a very big *application* for a very big *opportunity* and a part of it was a discussion on why I love books and want to be involved in the publishing industry. Because a big part of my passion for books has come from this blog and all the opportunities it has provided me, I wanted to share one of my application essays… ENJOY! <3
I have always loved to read; whether it be a sign of my introverted nature or purely a part of my personality, I have always yearned for little more than escaping into adventures, preferably the literary kind. I went through phases growing up; I pretended I was Laura Ingalls Wilder searching through the prairie, I spent hours looking for clues that I had found a door to Narnia, I waiting anxiously for my Hogwarts letter to arrive… I spent more of my time reading then I did eating and sleeping; living in stories was simply a part of what kept me alive. It is this innate passion for literature that has encouraged me to pursue a career in publishing, as a way to help spread my love for the written word, and to feel that I am a part of the magic they create.
As I grew up, as school and work became priorities, my reading stopped. Through most of my teens, I was lucky if I would read a dozen books a year, as all of my free time I’d spend trying to decompress from the pressure of modern day academics. Through these years my mental health worsened, as I was overburdened with the stress and expectations that come with being in high school. All of the overwhelming unknowns of life after graduation were piling up on me, and it truly only started to get better when I started to read again.
I can’t remember what triggered me to start reading again, but I was surprised by how quickly books helped me. I felt much calmer, my imagination was refreshed, I saw magic in the everyday mundane. I went from reading, at best, a book a month, to plowing through a few a week. Through these stories and narratives, I realized I wasn’t the only person going through teen angst and existential crises. As William Nicholson wrote: “We read to know we’re not alone,” and that is, and was, very true in my case.
I feel a connection to stories and the power they hold over their readers. I have had perspectives changed and goals developed by mere sentences in a novel, as books allow readers to see from a viewpoint that isn’t their own. I will feel the effects of finishing a book weeks after I set it down. I have found that the only way I can help to cleanse my soul of the bitter aftertaste of literature, the wanderlust and draw to magic it inspires, is by being a part of it. That’s why I started to review books on my blog many moons ago, working directly with authors and the book community. I started writing at a young age for the same reason—so I could try and feel like I was a part of it.
It is this wanderlust and connection to the fictional that inspires me to pursue a career in the publishing world. I am incredibly passionate about getting books into the hands of everyone, as I believe that every story can fundamentally grow a person and their ability to think independently. During my high school years, I worked as a Writing Consultant at my local community college’s Writing Center. Here, I saw how much of a difference literacy and having a connection to stories could make for people. Students would come in to get tutoring and would start off by explaining how afraid they were to be there, and how little confidence they had in their writing, especially if they ‘didn’t have anything good to write about.’ However, once I would get these same students to start talking and discussing their own journeys, I would see them slowly start to make the connection that stories are just that; the tales of fellow humans.
I worked with many students over my two years in that position whom I would convince, however unwilling, to read a book just for fun, and they would come back in expressing how much more they understood about their school, and the literature they were required to analyze. Or, they were simply more relaxed and enjoying their time in school a bit more. This, all because, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” (Charles W. Eliot)
These are just a few of my own personal experiences that have led me to pursue a career in publishing. I believe that stories, and the imagination they cultivate, can truly make the world a better place, allowing changed perspectives and lives, through even the most simple of novels. As John Green wrote in The Fault in Our Stars, “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” There is a sense of belonging that reading can grant any person, and it is more important than just about anything else. I want to be a part of it; or, more truthfully, I need to be a part of it.