I was up in the country this weekend, which for me means the Berkshire mountains, and the seasons are clearly changing. It was just beautiful up there and I usually love this time of year.
This fall, though, is different, very different than I remember in a very long time. Over the last several weeks, my colleagues on the publishing side of the business have been saying that business is way off. The more I’ve heard this, the more I’ve wondered why. When it gets cooler, people tend to be inside and read more, not less. Why not this year?
The answer actually is quite simple—and very disturbing (at least to me). We are all reading about and watching what is going on in our very own reality show: the U.S. presidential election. We are doing this virtually in every spare moment. There are very few days that go by without a major development and I, for one, am afraid that if I miss one, the wrong candidate will win. We cannot stop watching and listening and, as a result, we have no time or interest for anything else. It seems that this phenomenon is especially true of book buyers.
As I said, this is a disturbing phenomenon, but the good news is that it will soon come to an end—our election is only two weeks away (thank goodness!). Hopefully, after November 8th, readers will be back in book stores, the first woman president will have been elected and our lives will return to where they were when all of this began. We can only hope!