So after a lot of random but dedicated emailing and a 15-minute phone conversation, I managed to score a bunch of good books for my company, or me specifically and some colleagues, to read and review. While the approval remains to be granted, as my simple idea threatened to morph into something out of my control or simply be shot down, at least for the time being I can enjoy some good reading.
Regarding the book review plan, it was largely something that arose out of my deep interest in reading and on my past experience in Excal. I did talk to the entertainment editor who also had considered it before but didn’t really purusue it as he only considered local companies. At first I thought about going into local english bookstores and asking them about their distributors, but (after some dithering as is my style) I took the extra step of actually sending queries to many companies, or rather their affiliates and branches in Hong Kong, Australia and even head offices in England. I succeeded in a big way with one company, known for now by its initials PM, who graciously sent us two boxes so far. Then I got sent White Tiger all the way from England by their publisher Atl. Unfortunately while we have the books, the reading and reviewing manpower, the enthusiasm, and the general idea of how we want to do this, we don’t have the final approval for the actual publishing of reviews.
What I get out of this so far, is several lessons. One is that, when you have an idea, even if you don’t have much knowledge or avenues to achieve it, just try to think clearly, try whatever you can think of and be persistent with it. Because you just might succeed, whether totally or partially. The second is that when you do have ideas and there are possibilities of them coming into fruition, then you need to think clearly about how best to further and facilitate them. Of course, to me, the most important thing is the vision and the effort to ensure that vision can exist, and then everything else can be worked out.
Do expect some reviews in the upcoming future. At the very least if they don’t show up on the newspaper page, then they’ll show up on these pages.