A few days ago, I received my Publisher's Weekly newsletter and read about the firings of two higher ups at Simon and Schuster. "mmmm" I thought, "thats probably not good." Yesterday, as Small Fry and I went in search of some after school french fries, I listened to this article on All Things Considered about the state of book publishing. Again I thought "this is seriously not good." Then I happened to be scanning through my local SCBWI digest and found this very detailed link about the number and kind of positions eliminated from publishing in the last week. I sat here and thought "yikes, the sky may not be falling but it is seriously teetering." Now most of this news focuses on the adult side of publishing, and as someone striving to be involved on the children's side I could tell myself that I'm safe. A quick scan of all these sources does not reveal any names on my rather large mailing list of clients and contacts. But how safe am I? Conventional wisdom says that children's books prop up publishing in bad times because while adults will forego books for themselves they still see children's books as "necessities." But how long can this last? When adults stop buying books, stop reading themselves, how long can they really be expected to read to children? How far away is the day when the notion that children need to read just simply doesn't occur to parents/caregivers?
Personally books are such a huge part of my life I can't imagine not buying them, or not reading, or thinking that its only important for Small Fry to read and not me. True there's been times when our house has been short on cash and we dust off our library cards but I've bought way more books in my life than I have movies or CDs combined. The idea of not reading something on a regular (and by that I mean daily) basis is so foreign to me it would be like someone telling me that I had to not breathe for several hours. But thats just me, apparently the vast lot of us doesn't feel this way. Why?? Why?? When I was a kid I made up a book mark that said "A book is an adventure you can do again and again." I still feel that way. So for all ya'll who feel similar the time is at hand for us to return publishing to the black in a good way - go buy books. For the rest of you who don't feel like reading every day, what are you doing right now? I can guarantee you that the bloggers you love to read, those who are great writers are also great readers, go be like them. Get off this blog and go crack open a book.