Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Reading for Pleasure

I've been taking an editing class on Tuesday nights. Last night, a classmate asked a question about making the leap between nonfiction and fiction editing, because fiction editing is a completely different thing than editing nonfiction. As we discussed the differences, another classmate chimed in that she wouldn't want to edit fiction, because she felt like it would ruin her enjoyment of reading fiction.

This started me on a train of thought that I've pursued many times before--the relation between the books I work on and the books I enjoy. I always had this vision of working in publishing: that I would read books I loved all day long and make them better. And though I really like my job, that's totally not what I do. I don't exactly ever curl up with a mug of tea and a philosophy textbook.

I totally immersed myself in children's and young adult fiction in August and September of 2003, when I was actively looking for a job in children's publishing. And I realized that all that reading, though I enjoyed it, was too much of a good thing for me. I love kids' books, but I don't want them to consume my every reading moment. I need big people books, too. And I've thought about that in terms of career, as I wonder if I'm really where I want to be long-term: would I want to spend every working moment with children's books? Would I then be unable to enjoy just reading children's books? But last night, I thought about this in relation to fiction. I've been tempted to look at positions in trade publishing--fiction, specifically. But do I really want to spend all my work hours editing the same sort of stuff I read in my free time? I'm beginning to think no. Whether that means I'm more settled in textbook publishing than before, I don't know. But there you go.
| posted by Barbara | 3:43 AM