I USED TO BE in the business of making moving and packaging supplies, as well as kindling.

Yes, I was a newspaper reporter. The demise of print news has been alleged for decades, and though I no longer am a newspaper reporter, I still turn to my pile of semi-read news to help me the start the occasional fire.

I’m not sure what category book authoring falls under, but it certainly feels riskier than print news. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to drum up the courage and time to put it all down. A newspaper story has a shelf life of about 12 to 48 hours, depending on the news cycle, and then it can literally be recycled. These days—with Twitter and a thumb-happy resident in a famous white house—it seems the news cycles even faster. Critique of digital news can be brutal, but it’s also fast. A book takes much more time to read, never mind the time it takes to write, and one of my fears is that time opens up space for critique.

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