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President’s Column:
The New Book Thrill

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One day this week as I was pulling my way up from the grip of a tough virus, my wife handed me a new book she’d brought home especially for me–Queen Noor’s memoirs, Leap of Faith. I held it for a while, looked it over, noted the clean lines, fresh smell, and hefty feel, and then started reading with a sense of anticipation and adventure.

What a joy–the new book thrill! I’ve felt it before. Maybe that’s why I ended up in publishing.

I’ve seen it when I’ve handed someone a book that we published, and that look in their eyes said, “This is for me?” as they examined it, turned it around once and again, and held it close like a treasure they would open up very carefully later.

It made me think about how easy it is to work so hard in the book business–on the selection and production and marketing details of publishing–that the thrill of just having and holding a new book somehow slides off to the edges unnoticed.

Sure there are meetings and phone calls and bills and lists that go on and on, but the real energy that drives most of us into this highly unorthodox–and mostly unstable–business of book publishing is the unmatchable thrill of holding a new book.

Why not give yourself a bit of a break today. Take a new book out of your inventory stock, hold it, look at it, appreciate what you’ve helped to create. Then go out and simply give it to someone whose eyes will light up at the news that this new book is now theirs. Or walk right over to your nearest bookstore and pick out a new book for yourself that you didn’t publish and take it home with you, simply for your own pleasure. Better yet, do both! Either will help you remember why you ever got into this wonderful crazy business of publishing in the first place.

The thrill of a new book–one of the world’s last remaining dependable bargains!

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