“Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.”
– Daily Prompt, 30th October 2012
The first word that came to mind was “random,” typical…So I happily Googled it, and then realised what was going to happen just as I selected the Image results…yup, lots of hits for the Penguin and Random House merger. The eleventh picture was from this Guardian article about it.
Firstly, seeing the book spines made me think of arranging books by colour. They’re just so beautiful to look at, although I’m often torn between the me who loves colour arrangements (like these M&Ms), and the me who loves categorising and alphabetising…I will do it someday, even if just for a few days, and treasure the photo forever…
As for the merger itself, I’m not sure how I feel about it. There’s anti-competition issues, a loss of brand identity, and also, if true, Bertelsmann having a controlling share – does that mean there’ll eventually be less Penguin and more Random? However, with the move being made in an effort to take on the big technology giants and their e-books, a different take on the merger predicts that with financial worries out of the way, the print publisher will have more space to be adventurous and experiment with new authors.
It seems like the first reaction to this sort of major change is doom and gloom, while forgetting that these two large publishing houses are themselves made up of a variety of smaller publishing companies that have been assimilated over the years anyway. So I think for now, it remains to be seen what comes out of all this, and I have a feeling that after the dust has settled, we’ll carry on as before. The only thing I’m disappointed about in this whole thing is the decision to call it Penguin Random House. Really?? That’s the best they could come up with? The whole of Twitter already knew that Random Penguin would’ve been the best name ever. There’s still time to change it!