I was reading Wolf Mankowitz’s Make Me An Offer today – a book I’ve bought for a friend but, ahem, thought I’d ‘test’ out first. It’s secondhand, as you can see, so I can’t really impair its quality… but that’s a topic for a whole other day. The book – which I’m really enjoying – is from the perspective of an antiques dealer. I can’t find out whether or not Wolf Mankowitz (who shares my birthday, incidentally) was an antiques dealer himself, but it all seems pretty convincing to me.
Whilst reading it, I thought of my friend Sherry, who works in antiques over in America, and wondered whether she’d like to read Make Me An Offer – or perhaps already had. And then I paused. Do people want to read books about their jobs? So many people tell me about books they think my Dad will like “because they’re about a vicar.” I don’t often pass these recommendations on – partly because, of course, Dad is still reading Lord of the Rings, as promised to Col – but it always strikes me as a little odd. Maybe vicars are more susceptible to these sorts of recommendations than most? I am a part-time librarian and a full-time student. I would be quite interested to read a book featuring librarians, but would never actively seek them out – and I actively avoid reading books about students, because they either panic or bore me, for the most part.
What about you? Do you like books featuring people of your profession, or avoid them, or have you never really thought about it? Do people recommend them to you for that reason, or has it never happened? This question is a little trickier for those of you whose job is being parents or spouses (I really hope at least one house-husband reads my blog, as I think it is a sadly underappreciated job!) because so many books, especially those in the line of the Provincial Lady, focus on characters with these roles, but not foregrounded in the way that a novel is when it’s about a dentist or vicar or, indeed, an antiques dealer.
Let me know your thoughts!