April 8, 2020

Frequent Flier: Travel Is Great, but There’s No Place Like Home

That’s why I can’t complain about business travel, although it’s not as exciting as when I was younger and working as a corporate lawyer. Back then, I thought business travel was glamorous. Now, I’d much rather be at home with my family.

But I still do feel a lot of pleasure when I see new places and meet new people. Plus, I still like getting out of the office. For a few hours, I’m not an executive coach, a wife or a mother. I’m just a traveler.

I’m the queen of last minute, especially when I’m traveling alone for business. I like getting to the airport with minimal time between check-in and takeoff. Once I’m through security, I stop at bookstores to load up on water, pick up the tabloids and see if there are any interesting new books. Then I’ll stop and get something to eat.

My routine usually works. I missed a flight only once, and it was ridiculous. I was coming back to New York City from a meeting in London. We had just moved back to New York from London, and I was really looking forward to seeing my family.

To take advantage of those all-business-class flights between New York and London, I was flying out of Gatwick. I was just a few minutes out from the airport when I realized I had left my passport in the hotel safe. My driver couldn’t turn back because there wasn’t enough time, but the hotel did send another driver with my passport.

I begged the airline to hold the flight for a few minutes until the driver arrived. Of course, that didn’t happen, although the representatives were quite nice about it. The driver showed up with my passport about five minutes after my flight took off. He took me back to the hotel, and I left the next day. I was upset about not being able to see my children for another day. But, to be honest, I don’t think they noticed.

Most of my flights are routine, but as we’re coming up on the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I’ll always remember the trip I was supposed to take that day.

I was originally scheduled to return to London on Sept. 11. I was living in London at the time, and was attending a conference in Uruguay, so I was supposed to fly out of Montevideo, and then go to Argentina, and from there to New York City and then London. But by the sixth day at this conference, I just wanted to get back to London, so I rebooked the exact itinerary for one day earlier, Sept. 10.

The afternoon of Sept. 11, I was at my desk in London at the technology start-up where I was working as legal counsel. That’s when I heard about the attack.

I was stunned and felt very alone. I kept thinking I could have been in New York. And to be honest, I really wanted to be there. I wanted to be back on American soil. I wanted to support my city.

I know it might sound a little emotional, but since then, every time I fly back to New York from an overseas trip and an airport person greets me with “Welcome home,” I get a little choked up.

I think it’s important to remember that coming home really can be the most wonderful thing in the world.

By Karen Elizaga, as told to Joan Raymond. E-mail: joan.raymond@nytimes.com

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/business/theres-still-no-place-like-home.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Amazon to Buy Goodreads

With bookstores closing, Internet sites have become critical places for telling readers about books they might be interested in. This deal further consolidates Amazon’s power to determine which authors get exposure for their work.

Until the purchase, Goodreads was a rival to Amazon as a place for discovering books. Goodreads, which is based on networks of friends sharing reviews, was building a reputation as a reliably independent source of recommendations. It was also of great interest to publishers because members routinely shared their lists of books to be read.

By contrast, Amazon had several well-publicized cases involving writers buying or manipulating their reviews on its site. As a result, authors said Amazon was deleting reviews from its site at the end of 2012 as a way of cracking down.

The deal is made more significant because Amazon already owned part or all of Goodreads’ competitors, Shelfari and LibraryThing. It bought Shelfari in 2008. It also owns a portion of LibraryThing as a result of buying companies that already owned a stake in the site. Both are much smaller and have grown much more slowly than Goodreads.

Otis Chandler, a founder of Goodreads, said his management team would remain in place to guard the reviewing process that had made the site attractive to its 16 million members. “Amazon has a real history of building independent brands and running them as independent companies,” he said in a phone interview.

Reaction online, however, was swift and laced with skepticism. “Say hello to a world in which Amazon targets you based on your Goodreads reviews,” Edward Champion, a writer and editor, posted on Twitter. “No company should have this power.”

The deal did get some support from Hugh Howey, whose book “Wool” was originally self-published on Amazon and promoted through Goodreads and became a best seller. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books — to-be-read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation,” he said in the companies’ news release.

Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice president for Kindle content, said the integration of the companies was beneficial. For example, it will make it “super easy,” he said, for authors that self-publish through Kindle “to promote their books on Goodreads.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/business/media/amazon-to-buy-goodreads.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Bucks: Wednesday Reading: Cholesterol Drugs Can Increase Diabetes Risk

June 22

Wednesday Reading: Cholesterol Drugs Can Increase Diabetes Risk

Cholesterol-lowering drugs can increase diabetes risk, three essential steps to Facebook privacy, bookstores charge admission for author readings to raise revenue and other consumer-focused news from The New York Times.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=dd6c7b572fb9537871b6983bf4291ad8