As some of you might know, the end of last September I started a work placement at a Dutch publishing house. That’s right, I’ve officially joined the working class: this girl now works a nine to five job! Ever since I started my PR & Marketing internship at Overamstel Publishers I have been wanting to share some of the perks of working at a publishing house (aside from spending all my time surrounded by books). So here they come:
Books in Dutch have rejoined my TBR
Most books I read are written in English by native speakers. When I became fluent enough to read in English instead of Dutch I never really looked back. Slowly, so slowly I didn’t even realize it happened, I stopped reading books written by Dutch authors. When I started my internship at Overamstel I was suddenly surrounded again by the Dutch written word and meeting all those authors once again peaked my interest. I picked up a non-fiction book written my Maartje Laterveer, a freelance journalist for Vogue and multiple dutch major newspapers, and I finished the whole book in three train journeys to and from work! Next up was the thriller Broertje (roughly translated: little brother) from Michael Berg, while I almost never read thrillers, and I completely lost myself in the story. And so it continued. I recently finished Dagboek van een getuige (roughly translated: the diary of a witness) by Astrid Holleeder and it was such a powerful book about hardship and perseverance.
What I am really trying to say is: I am finally reading in dutch again. I finally realized reading in dutch doesn’t mean that I have to read translations, there are SO MANY wonderfully talented dutch authors just waiting to be discovered and I am so happy to have rediscovered this. It was somewhat of a revelation to me and I am making it my goal to discover as many as possible in the years to come.
You simultaneously read less and more
This sounds so logical and illogical at the same time. It’s just that at the publishing house I read quite a lot and when I get home I don’t always feel like reading even more. I mostly find myself reading on the train journey’s to and from home, that is if I can find a place to sit… So I have a lot more selective about the books I read. I’m not the type of reader that is able to read multiple books at the time, that will just end up annoying and confusing me. So I have become choosy in what books I read, and I am totally fine with it. I’ve found that the amount of books I read has cut back drastically, but overall I enjoy them way more and end up rating them pretty high. I’ve become so attuned to my likes and dislikes, so choosing books that I’ll actually enjoy reading has become a lot easier.
My reading is developing again
Overall, I have been reading a lot more as my reading just doesn’t solely consist of books anymore with the publishing house related stuff thrown in. Moreover, I have started reading different books! For starters, I’ve discovered a newfound love for non-fiction. Two of the Dutch books I previously mentioned are non-fiction and I enjoyed both books immensely. You will actually be seeing some of that in the upcoming month, as I have a dual review scheduled of When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I’m really excited about posting this review as it is very different from my regular reviews. It’s more of a discussion between two people on a certain book and you will be treated to the point of view of a medical student (my sister) and a literature student (me), which, especially regarding When Breath Becomes Air, will prove a really interesting combination. I have also begun reading poetry again, such as Robert Burns, Rupi Kaur, and Robert Frost. I’ve just really seen my reading develop again, and frankly, it makes me excited to discover new books outside of my comfort zone.
So there you have it: three things I saw change about my reading since I became an intern at a publishing house! One thing that hasn’t changed though, is my excitement to see what I’ll read and discover next.