Blogger: Michelle Ule, Books & Such Assistant
Weather: Chilly but full of romance
The United States publishes the majority of English language books in the world. At Books & Such, we receive queries from all over the globe. Rachel and Janet represent Australian authors, but the rest of the agents specialize in the homegrown variety.
I spent the summer of 1976 with Swiss relatives, desperate to read a book written in English. Unlike my cousins, who spoke and read four languages, I was limited to English, Spanish, and a smattering of Italian. The only books my cousins owned that I could decipher were classics. So I read Madame Bovary (translated from the French), Pere Girot (another translation), and a cheap, 1950s dime-store novel someone must have picked up on a train. Since I had stuffed Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship (yet another translation, this time from German) in my backpack, the entertainment options were slim.
It’s different in Europe now. While the airport bookstores still cater to that nation’s most commonly spoken language, most have sections with books written in my native tongue. This trip the Kindle is loaded with several books and doesn’t take up much space. It would have been a God-send thirty-two years ago. But then I never would have read Madame Bovary. How about you? What treasure did you discover but never would have touched when it was the only book available?