I tried to play this game. Two years after graduating with a Computer Science degree and working in industry I thought "Hey, I like thinking about, reading, and analyzing books way more than I do anything else. Maybe I should try to be a Literature professor." So, I went back to school to get a BA in English,test the waters, and build the requisite portfolio. I quickly found out why I didn't actually want to go on to graduate school.
1)I'd spend 5-8 years broke completing graduate school if I went down the PhD path. Lots of lost earnings and missed out enjoyment due to my poorness.
2)Even if I finished the PhD path, my best case starting salary would be around $60k. That's the same I made walking out of college with the Comp Sci degree. There is no financial incentive there for me what
3)Because jobs are so scarce, if you get a job as a professor, you have to take it, even if it is in some small rural town. Also, if you get tenured, you're tied there forever. Screw that. I want to live somewhere cool and metropolitan and be able to move if I want instead of being tied to one area until I die.
4)Academic culture kind of sucks. I'm a fantasy/sci-fi geek and no one is all that interested in discussing books that even slightly fun. It's all got to be incomprehensible and angsty. I like a lot of non-geek books as well, but the majority of books academia wants to talk about are not that entertaining. It's all one big intellectual jerk off festival.
5)I'd spent the rest of my life writing books and papers that only Literature academics would read that would in no contribute to anything I considered useful or important.
So yeah, I'll just keep making a good wage with flexible job circumstances and save the book talk for my friends.