For a Good Look at How Book Publishing Has Changed Over the Years, Check out Joni Evan’s NYT column


Since my first career after college was in book publishing, I found this Joni Evans column in the New York Times, “When Publishing Had Scents and Sounds,” to be interesting. It looks at how technology changed the world of book publishing.

What I don’t understand is why the Times chose to run it.

Only the 2nd-to-last paragraph actually deals with present-day issues.

But it did bring up memories. Like the time when Shirley Maclaine, who at the time was better known for her new-agey books than for her acting, called at Bantam Books, where I worked. She had just written about past-live regression. I answered the phone, took Shirley’s message for the editor I worked with, and then, as the call was about to end, Shirley said, “Your voice sounds familiar. Have we met before?”

Not in this life, I wanted to tell her. As for meeting her in a past life, she’d know better than I.

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