Waiting for the Thaw

As Publisher’s Weekly reported last week, Houghton Mifflin has put a freeze on acquisitions. Meaning, of course, that the publisher has instructed editors not to acquire books. This has led many editors, agents and writers to wonder which publishing house will be next. The publishing industry is taking a beating from the recession, as are the universities that employ many of our country’s writers. (Many colleges have put a freeze on hiring, prompting a lot of handwringing among young academics about to go on the job market.) This depressing economic news means that some good books won’t get published, that others will go out of print faster than they should and that some talented editors, agents and writers in the making may lose faith and go to law school. (Although law firms are laying people off too.) So if you love to read, put your money where your mouth is. Hardcover books are not cheap. But for the price of say, one and a half packs of cigarettes, you could buy Sana Krasikov’s excellent story collection, One More Year. (And aren’t you trying to quit anyway?) And for less than the price of a taxi ride from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, you could pre-order Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds. (If you’re like me, you get nauseated in cabs–too much stopping and starting. Added bonus to taking the much cheaper subway: you can read on the train!) You can get More Than it Hurts You by Darin Strauss for less than the price of two movie tickets. Or ten copies of Fiona Maazel’s Last Last Chance (give it to all your friends!) for less than these shoes

2 thoughts on “Waiting for the Thaw

  1. This is sad news. I’m a librarian, and a writer, and library materials budgets have been cut, too, impacting book sales throughout the country.

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