Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jealous Much?

This year I treated myself to a subscription to Publisher's Weekly, a weekly magazine about the publishing industry. It has articles about publishing trends, publishers, new books being released, technology and books, etc. as well as book reviews.

A recent issue highlighted some forthcoming young adult books that were getting a lot of buzz. Since the magazine is focused on the industry, the article said nothing about the plot of the books (annoying to someone like me who is reading the magazine mostly for ideas about new books my students might like) and focused instead on how the story came to be published in the first place - the author's background, how the story found it's way to a publisher, etc.

As I was reading the article, I started to feel jealous. Imagine the thrill of reading through a slush pile and finding a gem! I imagine it's like being a librarian and reading a truly well-crafted story that you just know your students are going to love. Except, in this case it's on a much larger scale - finding a story you know the world is going to love.

I started wondering, "How do you get a job like that? How do you get to be on the front line of discovering new talent or a perfect tale and bringing a book to life in that way?" What a dream career that would be....

But then I thought of times I have completely fallen in love with a book [The False Prince, The Candymakers] and then introduced that book to a student who has also fallen in love with it. Would I rather be on the front end - the first person in the industry to discover a story? Or would I rather be part of leading students to the story once it's published, getting to interact directly with readers about a brilliant character or plot, watching kids "get" what I got when I first read it?

I think the answer, for me, is obvious.

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