'I Want to Be a Bookstore Cat'

John Warner

"When I was 10, I wanted to be a writer. That one (knock on wood) seems to be working out. But as 50 beckons, I have a new dream, and I'm admitting it here publicly for the first time: I want to own my own bookstore," John Warner wrote in a Chicago Tribune column where he weighed the pros and cons of a career switch.

Warner's mother had been co-owner the Book Bin in Northbrook "from the time I was a year old to the year I graduated college, so I have a good idea as to what I would be getting into if I were to own a bookstore," he noted. "Which is why I realize that while I would like to own a bookstore, I don't actually want to have to run the bookstore. Running a bookstore is actually far too much work and would take a category of knowledge that is well beyond me."

Warner acknowledged that his real goal is to be "more of a presence, swanning around the store, interacting with customers, dropping bon mots about books they may be perusing, perhaps cutting loose with an unsolicited anecdote about a particular writer.... When I am exhausted from the trials of producing my latest masterpiece, shoppers will find me on a couch, napping, illustrating one of the real inside bits of the life of a writer."

Upon further reflection, Warner realized that "in the end, I don't want to be a bookstore owner, so much as a bookstore cat--you know, the ones who act like they own the place."

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