Thursday, May 15, 2008
You know a book is good when...
Here's a little behind-the-scenes office anecdote. When we were trying to find the perfect book to fill our fourth slot in the May Select Editions volume, deputy editor Jim Menick waxed enthusiastic about Her Royal Spyness, noting that "it's a fun, light romp" and "a nice change of pace from the usual." I usually take a look at books that are a change of pace from the usual, just to make sure they're not too unusual. The character of innocent but fun Georgiana captured me immediately and I loved the peek into the rarefied world of a down-on-her-luck 1930s royal.
I had just gotten to the good part--the part where Georgie finds a body in the bathtub and the mystery really takes off--when suddenly I found my assistant, Ann, standing in front of my desk with her hand out.
"I need to make a copy of the book so we can send it to the freelance editor," Ann stated.
"No, you can't have it," I said, clasping the book to my chest. "I'm just at the good part."
"Please?" she said, hand still out. Then she told me it would be at least one day, maybe two, before the book would come back from the copier. And it would be completely detached from its spine, the pages held together by a rubber band.
Because I'm a professional, I gave up the book. But you know a book is good when you are forced to put it down for a while and you feel completely bereft to leave its small, perfectly described world. When the book returned, butchered for copying as promised, I took it home that night to happily speed through the second half, finally finding out what happened to Georgie, Darcy, and Georgie's dotty brother Binky. All in a day's work.