What publishers can learn from plants
I was fascinated by the way that plants could thrive in the extreme conditions of the Himalayas
Posted on: 9th July 2013
Walking through the Himalayas allowed me to witness nature in much more extreme conditions than I was used to at home. I was fascinated by the ways it found to thrive nonetheless.
Intrigued to see how high I could find plants growing, at one point I crossed a high pass of the North of the Annapurna Himal (Thorong La) and climbed up a little mountain called Thorongse. I found a plant at 18,500 feet - a Soroseris. It’s amazing how hardy nature can be.
Evolving to survive
Although remote, the area had been occupied by both man and goats for thousands of years – and some of the plants had evolved to protect themselves against predation by goats.
I found one brilliant example of this - in a dry, goat-infested area. It was the most marvellous little plant (although unfortunately I didn't photograph it), which looked just like a small, round, green spiny hedgehog: all spines, with just a few leaves. But you could look in, and right in the centre, tucked away and protected, see where the plant flowered and had its seed pods.
I have argued before that animals have personalities and in cases like these it is hard not to ascribe a personality to plants, too. I am happy to say that I found the toughness, inventiveness and determination of both of these specimens in such unpromising conditions incredible.
In the world of books we often hear a lot of doom and gloom about the challenges that booksellers and publishers face. But maybe we could take some inspiration from what these mountain plants did when faced with a challenge.
So what did they do?
Firstly, they didn't give up. And secondly, they adapted to their conditions in order to thrive.
See a larger version of this image, and other images from the trip, on my Pinterest page.