Posted on: November 1, 2020
A Bit of Background...
The Australian T&F office is counting down the first 12 days of November this year to run parallel to 'Australia Reads', a campaign designed to re-energise the love of reading in all Aussies. To put our own unique spin on the campaign, I sat down with Australian T&F colleague Adeline Regnault, a Higher Education Territory Manager for NSW and SA, for her take on why reading (and the industry around it) is so special.
Q: Hi Adeline!
A: Hi James !
Q: Before we get started, I must know; what attracted you to working in publishing in the first place?
A: When I was a kid, I spent my spare time reading piles of books at the library. Growing up, I studied literature and communication but I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living. After my first internship in a famous Parisian publishing house during university, it clicked: I wanted to work in the publishing industry, I wanted to be a part of the book production process.
Q: As you know, Australia Reads is an initiative to celebrate the joys of reading. Do you read often?
A: I don’t read often, I always read! I can’t leave home without a book.
Q: 2020 hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride – what parts of working as a Higher Education Territory Manager have changed for you since March, and what hasn’t?
A: Since I started my role in Sydney, I’ve always been working from home so the pandemic didn’t really change my work habits. The only thing I can’t do is visit academics on campus in NSW and SA. Hopefully, normal times are coming soon and I can travel again!
Q: You obviously have a strong love and affinity for books. What is it about books, compared to something like television, that draws you in?
A: Reading broadens my imagination compared to television. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching movies and TV series but there is something very passive about it. I feel that when I’m reading my brain is on alert, ready to imagine what’s going to happen before turning the next page! Also, it might be a bit cliché but books are my quiet and constant friends. I love the way they look, I love the fact that they can be very supportive even though they’re inert objects. I don’t give that much attention to my TV.
Q: You must have quite a unique perspective on publishing now, given your experience in not only selling textbooks, but also working as a book-buyer at Abbey’s Bookshop and even writing your own novels! What inspired you to write À 18 ans, demandons l'impossible?
A: I also used to be an editor in Paris after my publishing studies. It’s very enjoyable to understand the book industry by putting different masks on: editor, bookseller, author and now sales rep! My first YA novel À 18 ans, demandons l'impossible was published by Casterman in April 2018 for the 50th anniversary of May 68. When I was 17, I was fascinated by the 60’s/70’s and I wanted to write a fictional diary to understand better what happened politically and culturally in France during this era. My book is available in French and Italian at Abbeys Bookshop.
Q: You must be missing all those lovely academics at the NSW and SA campuses you visit – how have you managed to keep in touch with your contacts during a pandemic?
A: I do miss them but you know I’m a millennial, it’s OK for me to spend my pandemic days reaching out by phone or email! I also started to use LinkedIn a lot to update academics about new textbooks.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most exciting part of your current role at Routledge?
A: I’d say it’s giving textbook recommendations (like sending a message in a bottle) and winning an adoption just after!
Q: Finally – in the spirit of Australia Reads, I’m dying to know what’s on your current (and future) reading list.
A: I try to read classic and contemporary novels in English and in French – so that I don’t feel too disconnected when I go back to France! I’ve just finished Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko and Mémoire de Fille (A Girl’s Story in English) by Annie Ernaux; both of them were great, deeply moving without being dramatic and easy. I’m currently reading La Retraite Sentimentale by Colette (Retreat from Love in English) and The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. So far, the disappointment has eluded me!
Q: Thanks for sitting down with me today Adeline – au revoir!
A: Au revoir and merci James!