The thing I have always loved about books are the memories that accompany them. Whether it be the treasured copy of a beautiful Sleeping Beauty picture book on my shelf which holds that one scrap of my Grandmother’s handwriting, or the fantasy novel that captured my imagination whilst on holiday in Italy (that meant that I kept going back to Venice whenever possible), or the Noughts and Crosses stories my friends all bonded over during one summer’s day sat on the field at school in Year 9. Books are these personal milestones that evoke memories of dreaming, of discovering new places and of broadening the way you look at the people with which you share your life.
Having graduated from the University of Kent in 2011 with a BA in English and American Literature, I worked at my local Independent book shop, where I'd once been a Saturday girl. Returning now as the expert in Children’s and Young Adult literature at The Book House, I had the opportunity both in the shop and during school sales and author events to see other young minds fall in love with imagination. It will always be an incredible joy to find a book for the reluctant reader, the girl who’d rather be outside or the boy that’s too shy to ask for that one book he wants, to show them a story that truly grabbed them and, even better, to come back and seek out more.
It was for these reasons that I decided to pursue publishing as a career. Unsure what exactly the industry involved, what jobs were available and where to head, but with a thirst for sharing and shaping reading, Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies is another adventure, another new world to explore. Each week our lecturers have brought something new to light; marketing strategies and digital design, editorial list building, the exact name for each part of a book, different types of binding, the paper, where books comes from and where they're going. A trip to CPI in Chippenham to watch the books being made on machines that range from something almost Gutenberg era to what I am pretty sure was a set piece from Galaxy Quest.
This is such an exciting time in the publishing industry.
I hope that this blog will be a way of sharing my story of discovery with you.