Monday, January 30, 2012

Felita by Nicholasa Mohr

People often talk about their touchstone books, stories from childhood that had a lasting impact on them, changed their life or worldview, etc. One of the books I remember most from my childhood was Felita by Nicholasa Mohr, and it wasn’t because it changed the course of my life or even because it was my all time favorite. The effect of this book was much more subtle and at the time it felt mundane. Felita was the first and only book I read as a child where the protagonist called her father Papi, which is what I called and still call my father today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nancy Mercado: How I Got into Publishing

Everyone always thinks that you need to know someone to get into publishing, but I knew no one when I moved back to New York after college. I like to think that I got into publishing through bookselling. In college I worked in a small chain bookstore called Lauriat’s and my favorite part of the job was talking to customers about books and recommending the perfect title for them. I discovered that I had a very good memory for book titles and author’s names, and once I saw the cover of a book, I would always remember it. I was especially drawn to the children’s book section of the store, and I found myself making elaborate displays for the end caps, organizing and re-organizing the shelves so that the section was perfect.