In the United States, it’s Thanksgiving Day, a day that unites us more clearly than any other holiday. What a simple ritual–turkey and football, and maybe a parade–unconnected with any particular religion or ethnic tradition. What’s not to love? Even vegetarians seem to cope, because apart from turkey there are a score of other dishes that turn up on our tables as part of this harvest festival. There’s two inches of snow on the ground here in Massachusetts, and I can’t imagine the original settlers actually waited until the end of November to celebrate their harvest. But we’re used to the timing now, and it provides a reflective pause before the onslaught of Christmas commercialism.
I should have asked everyone yesterday at staff meeting what they were thankful for, but I think I can guess at some of the things we all appreciate about the work we do:
* The freelance editors, compositors, and proofreaders, many of whom we have never met, who have become so much a part of our team;
* The scholars around the world, many of whom we’ve now worked with for years, who share their research, suggestions, and contacts with us so generously, and who share in our commitment to providing fresh, global perspectives;
* The librarians we work with, because they and their patrons are responding with such enthusiasm to the Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love. We love libraries, and we are deeply grateful for the people who make them the heart of their communities; and
* The chance to develop a growing range of exciting publications and media projects, even though we’re based in a small and remote New England town (thanks be to the gods of the Internet).
And David and I are especially thankful for the small team that has grown up with us, through the difficult transition into independent publishing, and for all the colleagues who have encouraged and advised us.