Busman’s holiday

Last night, I had a meeting with my book club (not to be confused with DGLM book club, which meets next week).  On the subway home, I was thinking how much fun it had been to leave work and drink wine and talk about books.  The great thing is that while last night was for fun, it’s often my job to leave work and drink wine and talk about books.  At my lunch meeting yesterday (no wine, since publishing’s moved on from the drinking lunch, sadly), we talked about our own lists and a novel I’m shopping that I think this editor will love (now on submission to her, so fingers crossed!).  We also chatted extensively about books we’d read and loved that have nothing to do with either of our companies, which is pretty much what happens when I get together with friends as well.  Sometimes my personal life and my professional life are similar in the best possible ways.

Reflecting on this brought to mind the debate those of us in publishing go through before every long weekend or vacation: work reading or pleasure reading or both?  We breathlessly discuss which books we’re taking on our vacations.  There’s intense analysis of the towering To Read piles and lengthy lists—what to bring?  How many?  E-reader or hard copy or both?  What are you reading?  Which of these did you like more?  Should I bring some manuscripts or put all work aside?

I can’t recall ever hearing someone in publishing say, “I can’t wait for vacation!  I’m not going to read anything.”  A total vacation from publishing means cramming your suitcase with a huge stack of books that you don’t have a vested interest in, not taking a break from books.

It occurs to me that publishing is an industry all about the busman’s holiday. Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Any suggestions for what to cram into my suitcase for my vacation next month?

8 Responses to Busman’s holiday

  1. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    I’d recommend Hero’s Guide To Saving Your Kingdom by Micheal Leahy-an excellent middle grade fairytale spoof which managed to sneak onto the market right before the whole Grimm’s trend sputtered out and died…It’s an oddity on several levels, not the least of which is that they’d cut a movie deal before the book even hit the shelves, and in spite of this the book is next to impossible to find in a lot of venues-a lot of book buyers don’t like funny upbeat “boy characters”and so the book is routinely stolen from school and public libraries and never replaced. Definitely worth a look. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to glance at the query packet I’ll drop your way early next week…

  2. Stephanie McCarthy says:

    I always end up reading all my vacation books before I leave and have yet to find a place I can effectively “hide” them (I’m so sneaky).
    I just finished I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and thought it was hysterical.

  3. Joelle says:

    I usually read light fiction, paperbacks, mysteries – anything I can leave behind as soon as I’ve finished reading it. That way I can buy new books to carry home!

  4. Gill Avila says:

    Frankly, if my job entailed reading all day long, I’d opt for taking an iPad along and just watch movies, thereby giving my eyes and brain a rest!

  5. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    Small correction here-I think the guy’s name is Healy, not Leahy-sort of mistake one makes on a high-speed i-board…I think e-books are good if you’re a jetsetting diplomat or a bestselling femme fatale dodging a Congressional inquiry, but I think screens are more tiring on the eyes than print. (Although I sympathize with the large number of editors who tragically expire every year from the strain of turning physical pages…)

  6. Well, since it may be far away from your typical read, perhaps assuaging the rigors of a busman’s holiday, I would recommend the E-book entitled, Pressure Makes Diamonds A Timeless Tale of America’s Greatest Pastime, which actually is more of a life-lesson story than merely a baseball book.

  7. Emily Carter says:

    I loved Maria Semple’s novel, “Where’d You Go Bernadette.” Pure escapist fun.

    And I’m a sucker for the bestseller list — usually fun, easy reads that do good jobs of entertaining me for a while.

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