Over the last several days I have found myself thinking a lot about picking up Donna Tartt’s new novel, The Goldfinch. I’ve been debating the notion of downloading it or walking over to B&N at the top of the park and buying the hardcover. I even tried to get our DGLM book club to choose it for our next gathering (I was shot down).
“So?” you might be thinking, “You work in publishing. You read a lot. It’s a bestseller with a slew of enthusiastic reviews and miles of buzz behind it. Why wouldn’t you want to read it.” Seven hundred and eighty-four pages is why! The thing is a doorstop. I’ve got a mountain of manuscripts and proposals, a backlog of magazine articles fading in relevance as I type this, a full inbox, and an eight-year-old with more homework every night than I had class work as an undergrad at Columbia. When, for Pete’s sake, am I supposed to fit in an almost eight hundred page book?
But, still, I’m drawn to it like I’m drawn to pumpkin doughnuts and stews in the fall. Because it’s the season for big, important books that you can curl up with in your favorite arm chair on a chilly day—wrapped in a warm cardigan, sipping some warm apple cider as you turn the pages—and lose all track of time. Something about the dip in temperatures and the fact that it’s twilight at 3:30 PM makes me want to read long and complicated works.
Clearly, I’m not alone in this. The publishing world has traditionally scheduled big, important titles in the fall/winter season and beach reads starting in late spring. And, when I googled “seasonal reading” to see if it’s already been classified as a disorder in the DSM, I came across this piece in the Guardian which…yeah…it seems I’m not at all original (or unique) in my fall reading needs.
What about you? Do you get all nostalgic for War and Peace or Dune once the flip flops are put away and the jackets come out?