Summer miscellany

It’s holiday time! Time to forget about work, power down the brain and relax. That’s the theory anyway. Editor James Evelegh has a few holiday-inspired observations…

By James Evelegh

Summer miscellany

Lying on a sun-lounger with a fluorescent pink cocktail and temperatures in the 30s, it’s hard to think about publishing.

But needs must… Here are my random observations from Cancun:

  • everyone in the hotel is on their phone most of the time: I sense a publishing opportunity there somewhere…
  • when they’re not on their phone, they’re either playing Love Island themed games by the pool or reading books. The enduring popularity of books in print shows that print has a future as long as you put something good on it.
  • my 23-year-old daughter bought a Cosmo for the plane. When she buys a magazine, it has to be print, despite being as mobile-savvy as everyone else her age. She probably buys it once a year, at the airport, and immediately noticed that the paper was “thinner – it feels like newspaper”. She wasn't crazy about it. Readers do notice the paper stock.
  • my own holiday reading consists of three magazines (Private Eye, The Economist and BBC History Magazine) and two books: Frederick Forsyth’s ‘The Fox’ – not a patch on his ‘The Day of the Jackal’ – and ‘Factfulness’ by Hans Rosling, which comes with a testimonial to die for: Bill Gates calls it “one of the most important books I’ve ever read”. I’ve only just started it, but the premise is that the world is becoming a much better place (poverty down, life-expectancy up etc etc), but that the overwhelming majority of people don’t realise it. They think the opposite, that things are getting worse, a view not based on fact. The blurb on the back describes ‘factfulness’ as “the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts”. As we approach 31 October, I think it’s a book everyone in politics and everyone who writes about politics might benefit from reading.

Anyway, my ‘Pink Power’ cocktail downed, time for something a bit more mainstream, a margarita perhaps. As they say around here, hasta la vista.