Sunday, 19 August 2012

Feet up

‘Sitting at a desk with my feet up / on the bottom drawer, reading manuscripts’ – the opening lines of Louis Simpson’s poem ‘Publishing Days’. This is still my default position. Sometimes with the feet a bit higher (above, this morning). Sometimes my toenails need a trim.

(Remember the notion of the ‘paperless office’? Wikipedia cites a journal using this phrase in 1975, then another journal reporting that worldwide use of office paper more than doubled between 1980 and 2000. Bookless publishers? Unlikely. It’s not as if books are going to just go away.)

The CBe website has no submission guidelines, so what comes in is a mix of email attachments and hard copy, sample pages and whole books, which is fine, but if I’m going read anything – as opposed to skim onscreen to decide whether or not I do want to read it – then I need it on paper. Resting your feet on is what bottom drawers, windowsills too, are for.

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