Michael Bourret Personal Essay

I can’t say that reading was a habit I developed all on my own. My mother started reading to me before I can even remember, and by the time she sent me off to kindergarten, she made sure I already had an interest in books. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve bedtime reading with my mom; whether it was Freaky Friday (my favorite children’s book) or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it seemed like we were always reading something together. I remember being completely lost in these other worlds, eagerly awaiting the next book and next adventure. My love of books grew from that point on, though I never thought it would become a career. In high school and college, I studied visual arts, mostly photography and film. I felt that my creative energies were best suited to these media, until, after three years of college, I decided I needed a change. When I began working at DG&B as an intern, I had very little understanding of what literary agents actually did. But I quickly discovered that being an agent meant helping creative people achieve their artistic and professional goals, bringing their voices into the world. I love what I do because I get to work with people who can articulate the thoughts and feelings I cannot find words for. My tastes are quite broad, ranging from children’s fiction—picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA—to thrillers and women’s fiction, to memoir, and to nonfiction, particularly about science, technology, and leftist politics. Really, I just want to read something that moves me, that I connect with on an intellectual, emotional or spiritual level—anything that makes me feel the way I did reading with my mom as a child.