a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please untick here if you DO NOT wish us to contact you about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

Loading the player... If you can't see this video please get the Flash Player.

NEXT STORY

Schooldays

RELATED STORIES

A lucky guy in every respect
Peter Mayer Publisher
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

I loved studying, I loved school, I couldn't get enough of it.   I particularly loved reading.  We had a home that was a book home.  My mother was not a great reader, she read popular fiction, but my father read seriously and my grandparents read seriously.  Because we didn't have very much money, we came to America without means, I was taken early on to the public library in Richmond Hill in Queens, very close to Kew Gardens where we lived.  I remember that we were allowed to take out on our library card five books a week, and by God I took out five books a week; outside of whatever one I had to read for school, I read five books a week.  I was a great reader.

But my mother, who was not, as I say, a great reader, and she was a great athlete – she had been a runner and jumper in Germany before the war – and she was a great encourager of sports, and I was a skier and tennis player and baseball player and all of that, and my mother was always saying, why do you study so much? The answer was I loved it.  I never thought of it particularly as work.  Why don't you go out and play more baseball?  So I had… I had both.  I was a lucky guy.  I was a very lucky guy in every respect. 

[Q] I have a feeling you were an only child, is that right?

And I was an only child, too, so I wasn't spoilt materially, there was nothing… there was no material to share particularly, but my parents, or my father, did quite well after the war.  He was a glove manufacturer, but they had lost everything in Europe.  So I wasn't spoilt materially, but I got a lot of attention. I got a lot of attention. That's more valuable than being spoilt materially.

Born in England 1936, Peter Mayer is an American independent publisher who is president of The Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc, a New York-based publishing company he founded with his father in 1971. At the time of Overlook's founding, Mayer was head of Avon Books, a large New York-based paperback publisher. There, he successfully launched the trade paperback as a viable alternative to mass market and hardcover formats. From 1978 to 1996 he was CEO of Penguin Books, where he introduced a flexible style in editorial, marketing, and production. Recently, Mayer financially revived both Ardis, a publisher of Russian literature in English, and Duckworth, an independent publishing house in the UK.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: school, reading, books, sport, only child

Duration: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014-January 2015

Date story went live: 12 November 2015