Sunday, June 8, 2014

Beating back the books doom and gloom

Sometimes being involved in the book industry, even on the periphery, can be a little gloomy. There always seems to be news, opinions, or discussion of bookstores closing, quality authors being dropped from publishers or having advances slashed, how hard it is for creators to make a living writing, how the industry is going to change (perhaps for the worse), Amazon bullying publishers, stores using books as loss-leaders...

But like much that is 'in the news', the reality isn't always as gloomy as the headlines. I was very pleased to see this article from the North Shore Times, where young journalist Elly Strang featured a keen group of teenagers who had formed their own bookclub, to help stay in touch with each other as they graduated through new schools, and promote reading. New Zealand crime writer Ben Sanders, known for his Sean Devereaux series and currently working on his first US-set thriller, AMERICAN BLOOD (which has already been picked up for film adaptation by Bradley Cooper's production company, pre-publication), recently visited the book group. One of my favourite bits in the article, is where Ben notes that "as a writer, it's nice to meet local people with so much enthusiasm for reading" - an antidote for the bad news.

Well done to the North Shore kids, and well done to Sanders for supporting reading at the grass roots.

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