Tim Harford Columnist

Tom Kelley is a sensitive soul. Shortly after sending the manuscript of his first book, The Art of Innovation, to his publisher, he visited Kepler’s, his local bookshop in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. “I literally started to cry,” he confessed to a group of authors to which I belong, “thinking about all the effort and all the sacrifices authors had made to get those thousands of books on to the stage”.

I see you, Tom. I vividly remember my excitement the first time I saw one of my books in the wild, in Kramerbooks, in Washington DC. Eight books later, I can attest that writing and publishing one is still as exciting, and still as exhausting. Thinking of all my fellow authors going through the same thing is rather moving; that bookshops keep being shut down by the pandemic simply adds to the pathos...

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