In three weeks’ time, I will be on a plane to Vancouver. I will not be coming back to the UK for…a while.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have heard about my move to Canada already. Here is the plan: fly into Vancouver, take THE TRAIN across the country to Toronto (stopping off at a couple of places along the way), arrive in Toronto, get job, get apartment, break into Canadian publishing industry, live happily ever after. It might not go quite like that in the end, but at least I’ve got something to aim for.
It’s been a few years since I last moved abroad, and I’d forgotten how much stuff there is to sort out, and how much there is to leave behind. This week is my last week at the bookshop, and I’m feeling completely miserable about leaving my wonderful colleagues and the beautiful diverse SFF section I’ve been building up at the shop. I’ve loved being a bookseller. It’s been great to have a job that fitted neatly around my studies and later around my translation work; I’ve met an awful lot of interesting people and I’ve ordered in (and subsequently evangelised about) a lot of great books. People have been known to take photos of my displays and put them on Twitter, which is always gratifying, and makes me feel like I am Doing Good in the world of SFF. And now it’s time to move on.
I don’t really know where I’ll be in a couple of months’ time. I might be a bookseller again by then. I’d love to be back working in publishing, because I really miss it and because there are an awful lot of Canadian publishers who share my values and who I think would be really exciting to work with – but I know myself well enough to know that if I do get back into the industry I’ll miss being a bookseller/translator almost as much. I know that whatever I do as a day job, I’ll still be translating and advocating for translated literature – whether that’s part of the day job or just something I do on the side. As long as I’m playing some part in the Making Books Happen industry, I think I’ll be okay.
Also, here is a picture of my final display at the bookshop, just for posterity. It’s called ‘SPACE: Not Just For White Men Any More’.