Although Course Materials and General Book Manager Michael Tucker is a lifelong bibliophile, it took him a while to find his calling.

“I originally thought that I was going to be a physical therapist, so I started my college career at [Ithaca College],” said Tucker. “I remember sitting in chemistry class and my professor was passing back the exams. She said, ‘the grades ranged from a 44 to a 99 percent,’ and I looked at mine and it was a forty-seven. I just realized that I kind of picked the wrong field.”

Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, Ithaca College was only the start of Tucker’s college career. After his change of heart, he transferred to Syracuse University—which was too big for his liking—and eventually found his place at Le Moyne College. 
“I had a great professors there—Dr. Clarkson—she used to smoke a cigar and we’d go into her office and she’d have a little teacup,” said Tucker. “She was just a character, but she was a great teacher.”

The small, Jesuit, liberal arts school gave him the one-on-one relationship he wanted with his professors, and helped rediscover his true passion: English.

 “In high school I wrote for my school newspaper, and when I got to college I began writing for my college newspaper,” said Tucker. “Books have always been there, writing has always been there, and I have done other things with my life, but I have always fallen back into being around books.”

About 15 years ago, Tucker and his wife moved to Maine. Prior to their move, they had both worked at the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble. Whenever a new store would open they would be relocated, moving from Syracuse to Rochester to Buffalo. 

“We just got tired of moving and we decided that we were just going to pick a place to settle down. We just decided on Maine,” Tucker said. “When we first got here, neither of us had jobs, which was kind of scary...Then I saw an ad in the paper advertising for this job. I loved books and had the background in it and applied.”

This December is his 10-year anniversary working at the College. 

Some of his responsibilities include ordering the textbooks—searching for used books and putting in orders for new books—and coordinating with the Events Office when there are events on campus that involve book signings. Tucker said the people are by far his favorite part of working at Bowdoin.

“There are so many creative and interesting people. We just have a great community,” he said.

Tucker finds many ways to diversify his hobbies. From surfing lessons to cricket, from printmaking to learning to play the electric guitar, he pursues various passions. It all comes back to books, however. 

“I do write a lot for myself, creatively,” he said. “I travel to Woodstock, New York. Every year there’s a festival down there, and I meet a lot of creative people there...I promised my mom that I would get published in her lifetime.”