Number 21

Confessions of an editor

“What I didn’t expect was the sense I suddenly had that author Doris Janzen Longacre and the contributors to Living More With Less were peering around the shelves at Target, watching me finger those plush crimson towels I really didn’t need. . . .”

Editing a book about living simply has a way of throwing one’s own hypocrisy into stark relief. When I began work on the 30th-anniversary edition of Living More With Less for Herald Press, I knew that I’d have to face the many ways that I failed to make choices that were mindful of global poverty and climate change.

Peeking under the bonnet

A few years ago, when conducting research for my Ph.D. on Amish women in business, I visited a gift shop and noticed a rack of romance novels with pictures of Amish women on the cover. I asked the Amish business owner, “Do you sell a lot of these?”

“Yes,” she said. “The tourists like them.”

“Do Amish buy them?” I enquired.

“Well,” she said, “a lot of people read them.”

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