By Edward Nawotka
Today is the July 4th holiday in the United States, the day which Americans celebrate their political independence.
All too often these days it feels like the book business is overly obsessed with new tablet and e-reader launches, discussions of how to monetize digital models, the hunt for news ways of exploiting opportunities for personal gain, and/or railing against the old models, the system and unfair “cultural gatekeepers.” The fact that publishing and writing freely is a privilege can be easily forgotten. (If you need a gentle reminder, take a look at today’s feature story on “Exile, Literature and the High Price of Freedom“)
I believe that book publishing represents, or should represent, the pinnacle of civility. Books afford you the opportunity to engage in a meaningful, intimate, intellectual “relationship” with another person you might never otherwise encounter. It allows you to challenge yourself and grow by absorbing new and/or opposing views, hopefully expressed in a manner that is not deliberately hurtful or harmful.
And, frankly speaking, if you don’t like a book, there are another 3.2 million to choose from, and you can always write your own. To me, this is one of the ultimate expressions of personal and political freedom.
What could be more free?
Happy Independence Day.