How important is it that more books be published this year? How vital is it in this culture of tweets, of Facebook status updates, of writer blogs, text messages, e-mails, e-books, e-pamphlets, and the like that we have more books coming out?
The struggle and value of publishing a new book seems not only futile, but overwhelming in a world in which more and more printed, electronic, and mobile content is being generated. As a publisher, now going in to my 20th year of business, I sometimes wonder what the point is. I hear all the time that there are too many books out there, that people don’t have time to read. People are so caught up in speed that a whole book (whether one written or read) seems like a leap to the moon.
On the other hand I hear people ask me, are there any Hemingway’s, or Borges, or Steinbeck’s out there anymore? Will we ever have authors like this again? I take this to mean that even though most people seem too busy to read, they still wish there was a good book to read. Confusing right. Or they wonder, is it even possible to be a writer anymore.
I believe that yes, there are new Hemingway’s out there: Jonathan Safran Foer, Junot Diaz and many more………..environmental writing is intriguing these days. However, to be in search of the next great, Pulitzer Prize winning author is a bit of a quest for perfection and much beyond the powers of most people to perform.
We need new books for lots of reasons, just as many people declare how much they like a mid-day rain and the chance to sit on their front porch. We all know that the stream of e-mails and flurry of text messages are like small-talk and chatter. We know that what takes time to create, what takes time and thought to read and think over are what we most value and consider of the highest quality in the world.
It could just be that there are more books each year because there are more people in the world, but this is kind of bland to say. There are more books each year for all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons. Some want to get their name in print and just be “famous” and I consider this the wrong reason. Some want to share what they are passionate about and share what they have dreamed about understanding and creating, sometimes for a lifetime, with others. This is the book I am looking for and the book we all want to read.