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I think I'm a good librarian.
I love books, and the people who read them, and if that
makes me intolerant of the video and computer age, it doesn't
matter much in here. Paul was embarrassed by my job. It
didn't fit in with his creative Director image at dinner
parties. He'd rather I had either stayed at home, and then
he could continue to make jokes about me being the last
housewife in captivity; or else that I had found some trendy,
highly-paid job in the media. When I pointed out that I
did work in the media, it just wasn't very highly paid,
he would look pained.
I've always been addicted to the printed word. A former
headmistress once said, "If Constance had nothing else
to read, she'd read the label on a jam jar!"
She meant to be scathing, and the other girls tittered sycophantically,
but I thought she was being silly. You could learn a lot
from the labels on jam jars... and besides, the other girls
would only gaze into space and moon. Was that supposed to
So my first thought, when Kate started school and I decided
I could now take a job with a clear conscience, was something
to involve me with books. I would have been quite happy
in a bookshop, but the humiliation of having his wife working
as a shop assistant was more than Paul could contemplate.
I tried to argue that all advertising is only selling. I'd
heard him propound the argument often enough at dinner parties,
when smart women fresh out of university and burning to
write had asked him if it wasn't an awful come down, when
you'd got a First in English, to wind up working in advertising?
The moment he heard that contemptuous stress on the first
syllable, advertising, adman, Paul would assume his patient,
sophisticated smile and take them through his catechism
about selling. But evidently the same didn't apply to me
"Not even Hatchards?" I'd said. "Then I'd
be near your office and we could meet for lunch sometimes.
That would be nice..."
"My dear girl, you wouldn't stand a chance of getting
a job in Hatchards!" Paul had answered.
So I did get a year's course in librarianship, and started
work within a month of completing it. There aren't that
many librarians with a First from Oxford, and although I
didn't tell my colleagues, it showed up on my CV and must
have impressed the selection committee. They probably thought
I wouldn't stay, but I have spent nearly nine years now
in the same public library. It helped to tide me over the
utter disorientation I felt when Paul left me, and my raging
sense of pain and injustice over the divorce. My incredulity
at the distortion of our marriage as expressed in solicitors'
letters, and later my fury over the court proceedings, were
tamed and made bearable by the sweet unvarying routine of
the Dewey classifying system and the old ladies, the truanting
children and the coffee breaks.
of his wife's job because it
1) deprived him of a chance to show off.
2) had nothing to do with computers.
3) made her look like a housewife.
4) was not acceptable in their circles.
A16According to the
text, the narrator was critical of her school environment
1) the headmistress had disapproved of her love for books.
2) the headmistress had teased her for her obsession.
3) the other girls had never shared her love for reading.
4) it had never been a source of excitement for her.
A17The narrator decided
to take a job in a bookshop because
1) it could offer her vast career opportunities.
2) she knew it would bring her a lot of money.
3) her daughter had grown up and did without her help.
4) it was a great place to meet people who read books.
A18According to the
text, the narrator thought "advertising" to be
A19In order to start
the work in a library the narrator needed
1) a First from Oxford.
2) a year of job experience.
3) professional qualifications.
4) a reference enclosed in CV.
A20The narrator felt
completely confused because of
1) splitting up with her husband.
2) financial difficulties.
3) injustice on the part of old ladies.
4) the disappointment with her job.
A21 The narrator
survived the trauma because
1) she and her husband remained friends.
2) she found satisfaction in her job.
3) the court proceedings were just.
4) her own children supported her.
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