This time of the year in publishing is affectionately known as the dead zone. Everyone is either on vacation or too busy catching up on the piles that grew while they were beachside somewhere to return phone calls or e-mails, the normally swollen river of queries slows down to a babbling brook, and offers are all pending the rubber stamp of a boss who’s in some foreign land drinking copious amounts of wine. A kind of lethargy sets in during the hazy month of August and it feels like the whole industry has been crop-dusted with Xanax.
For me, this lethargy translates into a kind of reading fatigue. I find the idea of diving into a new book vaguely exhausting while simultaneously wishing for that reading experience that will act like a jolt of espresso to snap me out of my summer doldrums. Instead of excited about starting the next book on my list, however, I’m feeling like it’s a chore. I think that those of us who define ourselves through our crazy, passionate love affair with literature occasionally find ourselves muttering bitterly, “more words, words, words” at the sight of a shiny new hardcover 23 people have recommended. This too shall pass I know from long experience.
When I found myself starting three different books, flipping through a few pages, and putting them down to play Candy Crush this week, I decided I needed a break. So, I’m reading blogs, magazines, and newspaper articles, Tweets, FB posts (you didn’t think I’d stop reading altogether, did you?). I’m watching House of Cards and the Little League World Series. And, I’m processing the coverage of Robin William’s tragically premature passing. (Here are a couple of sobering and interesting perspectives on the sadness at the core of Williams’ brand of creative genius: A great essay in Cracked and Russell Brand’s eloquent print eulogy.) In fact, as in all good relationships, a little time away from the object of one’s affections can be salubrious.
And, of course, during this book sabbatical, I’m making lists of the titles I’m going to dive into when my energy levels pick up. I’m thinking big biographies might be in my future….
Tell me, how do you guys get over book fatigue? Or do you never experience such a thing?