I present to you the different (very much simplified) perspectives a book engenders, right from the time of its conception up to the time it makes it to the bookstalls … and beyond.
Author: Writes the book based on her: research, past history and experiences, sensibilities, inspiration and motivation.
Publisher: Acquires a manuscript, which gets eventually published, based on: concept’s salability, market direction, industry’s current trends, economy, marketability of the author’s name.
Bookseller: Displays a book on the shelf based on: salability, cover art, name of the author, reviews, hype produced by the book in the market, bestseller list.
Librarian: Orders a book for the library’s shelf based on: genre, reviews, awards won by the book, concept of the book, author’s name.
Reader: Picks a book to read attracted by: the genre, the cover art, the flap copy, the name of the author/series, excerpts, assignments, current fads, his taste and sensibilities.
Parent: Chooses a book for his child based on: genre, child’s taste, his own taste, concept, price of the book, awards won by the book.
The perspective changes even for the same set of people, given a slight change in the circumstances. For instance, the same parent might not choose the same book for another of his children.
And these are only a few of the points of view that a children’s book produces. If it were a book in adult category, that too, one with political or religious context to it, then the whole ballgame changes and the perspectives multiply.
The adage Don’t judge a book by its cover isn’t really such a cliché, is it?
Hope you can find a book this weekend in which you can lose yourself willingly!