Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Give Books

Sara Nelson writes commentary for Publishers Weekly. I found her November 17th column interesting. It starts with this quote:
“To get pleasure out of Christmas shopping, begin early and make your selections gradually. It is quite time to begin now. There are no gifts so satisfactory and lasting as well-chosen books, and none so flattering to the taste and intelligence of the recipient.”
Contrary to what you might think, that’s not a quote from her. It’s actually from the New York Times - a hundred years ago.

In today’s world, booksellers and authors are worried. Nelson points to the severe slump at Borders. As outsiders we sometimes have a myopic view. We think, well, if Borders goes down, then they should have been smarter and the world is better off without them. But Nelson asks, what will happen to the wholesalers who service the Borders chain? And that leads you to wonder, what will happen to the people who work for the wholesalers but have to be laid off? Despite these concerns, Nelson says it’s best to focus on what we can control

Ultimately, Nelson concludes:
Better to focus on what we all got into this business for in the first place: finding a way to connect the writers with the books and, ultimately, with the readers.


  1. The future of the book publishing industry doesn't look good at the moment, but I'm sure that new technology and better managed companies will rise from the ashes.

  2. I agree Jean. I have faith in the industry.

  3. I have faith in the product. People love and want books, so there will always be companies willing to produce them. But they will need a new business model.

  4. Publishers are slowly recognizing that they've got to turn to the Internet in order to reach the people, the readers. I'm not internet savvy like my kids are and, yet, I'm on the Internet all day long and I don't subscribe to paper and only a couple of magazines.


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