Thank you to my readers

Dear reader, you don’t need me to tell you that in so many ways this has been a crappy year.

But it’s been a time for people rethinking a lot of things (working from home, for example). In my case I started this newsletter - and many writers have found new ways to reach audiences, cutting out the middleman of publishers and editors.

I’ve been thrilled to have subscribers, that some of you are willing to pay for content, and I only hope my newsletters are interesting or amusing. As a writer, I’m also a reader - so I’ve been thinking about how I participate too.

I usually keep a list of books I have read each year, with the elusive goal of 100. (I never crack it, this year I managed 39, I think my highest is somewhere in the 60s). What I have done differently this year is write to the authors of books I’ve enjoyed, in order to thank them (I didn’t write to them if I’d published a review of the book). We do that far too little: thank those who have created something we enjoy. I wasn’t expecting replies, but Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic), Jacob Goldstein (Money), and Benjamin Lorr (The Secret Life of Groceries) responded right away, which I appreciated.

I will be writing in the coming weeks about some forthcoming pieces (which I am working on now), and in the meantime wish you all well.

Of course, you don’t have to celebrate New Year’s Eve just yet - as I suggested here. We have historical precedent to wait a little longer, til things might be looking better.

But whatever your plans, all the best to you in 2021.