…is how they usually introduce an early rock ‘n’ roll radio show but in this case the line is apt for literature. Off The Shelf is a new site set up by publishing giant Simon & Schuster to allow business insiders (editors, agents, authors, etc.) the room to reminisce and review books that they’ve loved that are at the very least one year old (my first novel, for example, is a year old now – how time flies).
Let’s face it, even with a downturn in the industry there is a lot of books flowing through the stores on any given day. The bestseller lists and the review pages in the papers are full of books that you would love to read, but maybe you don’t have the time when they’re out or you’re already committed to another book or series of books. The ones you notice tend to slip away; you’ll remember them months or years later when you catch a reference to them, or maybe you’ll never think of them again. Off The Shelf is for those books – books that the insiders feel didn’t get their fair share of attention when they were fresh and new. It’s a neat idea and I commend S & S for setting it up.