“People who buy books … are of two kinds. There are those who buy because they love books and what they can get from them, and those to whom books are one form of entertainment among several. … The second group has to be courted” (p. 117). .
Which kind of book buyer are you? I’m definitely the first one.
This is just one of the many observations Diana Athill (1917-2019) makes about books and writing and publishing in her memoir Stet (2000). I am enjoying the read, not just for her funny stories and compelling insights, but because I used to work as an editor. I often used “stet” to let the words stand and reverse some haphazard or misguided change I had made in haste.
Now I teach editors and technical writers. The English department in which I work is starting a literary editing minor. Perhaps we’ll turn out some future Diana Athills!
I’m looking forward to discussing this book with my “Real Readers” bookclub in a few days!