Many industries are transparent and understandable, with clear definitions of their success and products. For example, everybody knows what RIM technologies does (they make your Blackberry), and everybody knows what Levi’s does (they try hard to lure you away from your Seven Jeans). And even if you don’t know, a quick Google search can reveal practically everything about a company. One industry that is shrouded in secrecy and flies below the radar is the world of Books. Interestingly, this industry, comprised of publishers, agents, and distributors, accommodates a large number of Jewish Young Adults in their roster, primarily in lit-centric cities like New York and London.
The appeal of working in the Book World is apparent to JYA’s: it gives them an outlet for costly degrees they earned in English, Creative Writing, or Sociology from famous upscale universities like Brandeis. In addition, it allows them to get a paycheck for pursuing their nerdy/nebbish passion for reading books in candlelight. Also, the Book World gives JYAs the pleasure of being on the cutting edge of many cultural trends that begin with literature and extend frequently into other realms like film and music. Finally, working in the Book World gives JYAs the added benefit of talking about books, which makes them sound extra smart and trendy.
Ironically, much of the Book World is comprised of Jewish Adults and sometimes even Jewish Elders, which creates an intimidating dynastic front that is hard to penetrate. Therefore, literature in general has a self-perpetuating Jewy trend that is constantly bolstered by a fresh crop of JYAs, eager to write about themselves and comment about themselves.
(Special note to all of our readers: We need your help! One of our writers completed his first novel and is looking for a lit agent for commercial/contemporary fiction. If you have any leads please email us!)