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What would British most like to do? Write books – or at least be around them

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Ann Hermes

(Read caption) A bestsellers bookshelf sits at The Book Cellar, an independent bookstore in Lincoln Square in Chicago, Illinois.

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It turns out there are a lot of people in Britain who dream of the life of a writer.

According to a recent poll by the British market research company YouGov, the job of an author is the most desired profession among those they surveyed (more than 14,000 adults living in Great Britain). 

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Respondents were asked “whether you would or would not like to do each of the following for a living,” according to YouGov, and 60 percent of people said they would like to be an author. In addition, the smallest percentage of people in the results – 32 percent – said they would not like to be an author.

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The second- and third-highest ranking professions were also book-centered. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would like to be a librarian and 51 percent of people said they would like to be an academic.

These professions ranked higher than such jobs as lawyer (which came in fourth) and doctor (which came in seventh) as well as higher than such jobs that are often thought to be glamorous like movie star (which ranked fourteenth) and TV presenter (which ranked eighth).

Interior designer came in at fifth, with 41 percent saying they would like to have the job, while journalist was ranked sixth.

“Instead of actors and musicians, it seems that an aura of prestige still surrounds the quiet, intellectual life enjoyed by authors, librarians and academics,” YouGov staff wrote in the results.


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