During my life, I have experienced just about every emotion. But I have never been bored. And that's because of books.
If I have a book with me (and I never leave home without one), I don't mind having to wait. Plane delayed? Doctor running behind? Friends forget about lunch? No problem, more time to read.
Give me a book -- hardback, paperback, eBook -- and I'm all set. I used to worry, especially on long-distance flights, about not having lugged enough books with me, but my Kindle has solved that dilemma. The only problem is that I love underlining books as I read them, and though the Kindle lets you mark things, you can't just collect your underlined passages and print them (help a girl out, Amazon!).
My love affair with books is a long one. As a little girl growing up in Athens, I remember sending my friends home early from my fifth birthday party because all that celebrating was keeping me away from my books. Who needed friends and cake? I had my books!
My entire career path was set by being asked to write my first book. I was 21 and ready to leave Cambridge for Harvard and the Kennedy School of Government. Then fate intervened. After seeing a debate I took part in at the Cambridge Union, a publisher asked me if I'd be interested in writing a book based what I had said in the debate. "I can't write," I replied. "Can you have lunch?" he asked. That I could do -- and over lunch he won me over.
That was twelve books ago. Since that lunch, I can't remember a time when I wasn't researching or writing a book, until now, when instead of my signing another book contract, we are launching a Books section. I couldn't be more excited.
From the beginning, HuffPost has sought to combine the best of the traditional media with the best of the new media. And that's what we've done with Books.
I've always been an avid reader of the New York Review of Books. For going on 50 years, it has been the premier source of thoughtful, penetrating articles on books -- as well as politics, culture, and current events.
So when we decided to start a book section, the first call I made was to the Review's legendary founder Bob Silvers, asking if he'd be interested in partnering with us. To my great joy, he was. As part of this partnership, the Huffington Post will be hosting Review articles before the print version comes out as well as giving readers access to other NYR articles within a branded space in our section.
Our Books section will be edited by Amy Hertz. When I was making the rounds of publishers, talking about my idea for a book on fearlessness, Amy was one of the editors I met with. We hit it off immediately; our views of the world (especially the publishing world) were completely in sync.
I ended up writing On Becoming Fearless for a different publishing house, Little, Brown. But Amy and I stayed in touch and when it came time to pick an editor for Books, she was our first choice. She is still editor-at-large at Penguin, but we've managed to work it out so she can bring her drive, passion, taste, and love of books to our new section.
So if you love books, and reading, and good writing, please check out HuffPost Books. You'll find all the latest book-related news and blog posts, book reviews, and all sorts of special features, including one today where HuffPost editors weigh on the books that changed their lives. Plus those articles and reviews from the New York Review of Books.
And, of course, we want to hear from you about the books you are reading, the authors you love, and the books you are thinking of writing (I know you have at least one in you!).
As Amy recently said about the section: "We want to get people excited about books again, to remember why they are so important, and to spark a thousand conversations -- about everything from 'Is Google the best thing that's ever happened to books or the worst?' to 'Who will sell more books, Sarah Palin or Dick Cheney?'"
So check it out. And let us know what you think.
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