Career Help (Dear Book Nerd Style!)

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers YOUR questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest co-host this week is the wonderful Alexander London. Alex and I answer three listener-submitted questions and discuss topics including: what it’s REALLY like to be a librarian, how to become a librarian in the first place, what a writer “should” read to help his/her writing career, and much more. Don’t miss it!

Photo by Sonya Sones

Photo by Sonya Sones

Alex London is the author of many books and series for all ages, including Proxy, an amazing YA dystopian thriller. You can find him on twitter @ca_london. Thanks, Alex!

This episode was sponsored by Random House Audio and X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.



1) Dear Book Nerd,

After ending a long term relationship, I’ve begun making serious changes in my life, and I’m preparing to meet the world of freelance writing head-on at the start of the new year. During this transitional period, I have rediscovered my love of reading, which has been lost for about the last 5 years.

As an aspiring novelist, I recognize the need to read deeply and broadly. I feel as if I am being torn in different directions, however, because I am very far behind on reading my favorite authors (Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, David Sedaris), interested in new and newly discovered writers (Haruki Murakami, Ron Rash, Jeff VanderMeer), and feeling the need to pick up some overlooked classics (Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck).

So my question is this: what strategy would you suggest that would allow me to play catch up and stay abreast of literature in the interests of my writing career?

Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work.


Lagging Behind

Dear Book Nerd,

I’ve been considering a possible career change for some time now, which would involve returning to school, and one of the highest possible degrees on my list is an MLIS. I’ve been researching programs for a few weeks now, lining up potential shadowing days at local libraries, etc., but I wondered if you had any advice for anyone considering going into the prestigious profession of librarian-hood. Is it worth it? Should we listen to the nay-sayers (looking at you, Forbes)? Just curious as to your thoughts…(P.S., Love the show!)


Dear Book Nerd,

I’m in college right now working towards a CS degree but what I really want to do is work with books – not the best major for that. Do you have any suggestions on what I might major in instead? How do you become a librarian in the first place?

A Very Lost College Kid



25 Books That Every Writer Should Read (Flavorwire)

Ernest Hemingway Creates a Reading List for a Young Writer, 1934 (Open Culture)

Stephen King’s Reading List for Writers (Aerogramme Writer’s Studio)

The Best and Worst Masters Degree for Jobs (Forbes)

Dear Book Nerd: Help! I Need a (Book-Related) Job! (Book Riot)


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