My wife and two kids are heading to Boston for Thanksgiving, a ritual that goes back some six or seven years. My wife’s aunt and uncle have greeted 20-something family members with open arms – and lots of food and drink. My daughter, 11, wants to ask people what they are thankful for. Here’s my list, as it relates to books and life.
I am thankful for…
· The existence of books in our world. Where would we be without the transfer of knowledge all of these centuries? Books have been our way to connect generations of experiences, discoveries, theories, fantasies, and thoughts.
· The re-emergence of independent bookstores and all of the retailers that now sell books. Without them, all that would be left would be Amazon. A wealth of goods or knowledge should not be concentrated in the hands of an all-too-powerful corporation.
· Writers, who with courage and conviction, want to pick up a pen or laptop in any given day to create something from nothing, to give voice to an idea, to provide a means to transmit what’s on their minds and in their hearts.
· Teachers who make strides to raise a literate society, and get students at any age to engage with books and to read as much as possible.
· Libraries and librarians, who are underpaid and understaffed but manage to filter stacks of knowledge so that patrons are exposed to the books and resources that will benefit them. Parents give us not only love and safety, but a deep admiration of books.
· The news media, for even though it gets a bad rap, is a huge champion of books, truth, and knowledge. Without a flourishing media, books don’t get discovered, and America gets dumber.
· Book publishers, who in the face of a huge self-publishing movement, manage to publish a record number of books. They uphold standards but open the doors for our nation to be exposed to a variety of thoughts and credentialed writers.
· Literary agents, who tirelessly seek to advocate on behalf of writers who deserve a good publishing home – and to be compensated fairly for their good works.
· Editors, who help make good books great and great books legendary. Editors have a lot of power but the truly gifted ones know how to help authors produce a better book.
· Book promoters and marketers, who give exposure to some interesting, important, and needed books. They can make anything sound better than it is, so beware, but they do more good than harm.
· Self-publishing, for even though it allows for some real garbage to see the light of day, more importantly it allows for new voices to be heard that never ever could have gotten past self-appointed gatekeepers. Self-publishers innovate and force traditional publishers to be even better than ever.
I am also thankful for so many others involved in the book world, from writing coaches, and book shepherds, to cover designers, printers, distributors, and those who earn minimum wage to stack bookshelves or who intern for peanuts at a book publishing company. Everyone involved in the process of seeing a book created, published, promoted, sold, taught, and read is precious.
I am especially thankful for those who remind us that free speech is not to be taken for granted, that banning, censoring, or burning books can’t extinguish the forces behind them.
I am thankful for all who post reviews online about a book and those who donate books to help those in need. I am thankful for, the invention of light bulbs to read books 24/7. I am thankful for comfortable chairs to settle into for the reading of a good book. I am thankful for Starbucks and good snacks to consume while digesting an appetizing book.
I am thankful to be alive and to be here to say Happy Thanksgiving! Eat up and go write, read, or buy a book!
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.