About

The below is the original ethos for this blog. And then WordPress happened and it became something else entirely. For a note on the transformation from Old, New or True to Walworth sentiments read here.

I am a medical student who once dreamed of a career in book publishing. I still love to read. This is my blog, Old, New or True.

I have been lucky. I have had the opportunity to work for a couple of multinational book publishers and for a multinational book retailer. I love medicine and it enthralls me in a way that publishing failed to, but I don’t want to become so ensconced in my career that this little part of me is forgotten, like the other accessories of a younger me.

So the object of this project is two-fold. I hope by having a place to record what I’ve been reading, I’ll know when I’ve been distracted from recreation by journal articles, textbooks and case reports. I’ve decided to make it a public place because I have so many friends & relatives and, thanks to work, perfect strangers who are at a loss to know what to read and are often disappointed by the heavily-marketed, displayed-for-a-premium new releases taking up valuable shelf space.

I hope that, with time, you will draw my attention to other stories I will want to read, writers I will drool over, history in the making…

Which brings us to content. My reading patterns have always been eclectic. I don’t attach myself to a writer, read their entire ouvre and find myself at a loss when I’m done. I don’t think I’m above highly popular works or children’s books. I often find myself yawning in the middle of a long-awaited, much-hyped new release, wondering what happened to honesty amongst reviewers. I tend to become curious about books reviewed on salon.com, books reviewed by my favourite authors, and books that amazon.com tells me I will like based on previous purchases – though I do cross-reference these across a number of titles, just to be sure. I usually love Pulitzer & Miles Franklin prize winners & loath Booker prize winning books. I’m frightened of book clubs and all the ‘should reads’ they force you into. I love that Nick Hornby, in The Believer, keeps a running list of ‘books bought this month’ and ‘books read this month’ and that the two rarely coincide.

Books that I have read and enjoyed very recently that won’t be reviewed here (unless I re-read them) are; Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann; The Girl who Fell from the Sky, Heidi W. Durrow and Beatrice & Virgil, Yann Martel. I’m currently in the middle of Freedom, Jonathan Franzen (disappointing, but then the Corrections never appealed to me) and A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry. If you knew how often I’ve put A Fine Balance in the Foreign Voices display at Borders, you’d be as surprised as I am that I haven’t read it sooner. I re-read Harry Potter at least once a year, though last year I mixed things up by listening to the Stephen Fry audio books (amazing). The ‘To Read’ pile is, as I’m sure yours is, enormous.

I had a look at the reading challenges out there and couldn’t select one that wouldn’t send me into a counter-productive competitive frenzy (I’m a medical student after all). So here it is, quality not quantity, honesty not intellectual snobbery or sales-directed publicity.

I look forward to your input, your criticism and your opposition. But maybe you’ll find something you enjoy in the process…

Here goes nothing…
Kate

6 responses to “About

  1. I absolutely love your writing style, my goodness. You have such a way with words — it was hard to stop reading. I love your honesty in your book reviews, your thoughtfulness and your ramblings. Like you, I also dreamt of working for a book publishing company. I’m studying journalism, so hopefully I will see that dream come true one day. Can’t wait to read more posts of yours =)

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you like it.

      My tip for publishing is to hold out for the entry-level job in the area you want if you possibly can. After you’ve spent months – years at that level in something related but not quite it, it can be disheartening to have to start at the bottom again and most places prefer to train people ‘up’ with very little room for ‘sideways’. A few places recruit inhouse for the cool jobs (editing etc) from the uncool jobs (sales assistant) so it’s worth finding out if that’s how they work, but ask them BEFORE you accept the position. Once you see the masthead on a job offer it’s very hard to be practical about these things but it’s all an adventure anyway!! Best of luck!

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