Oh, to Work in Publishing in the Summer

Josie Leavitt -- June 13th, 2011

It’s officially summer. The calendar doesn’t say so yet, but the publishing houses have sure jumped the season. There is an annual tradition among publishing companies to close up shop by one in the afternoon. I tried to call or email five different publishers on Friday, and was told by each one’s voice mail message or return email: they were closed early for Friday in the summer. Now, before I get hopped on by folks who work in publishing, I realize there is supposed to be a protocol that requires that these Friday off-hours get made up during the week. But still.

So, let me get one thing straight, the publishing companies just close once a week four to five hours early, just ‘cuz. Is it too hot to work on books? Does the A/C in all the buildings cease to function after noon? I’m not aware of any other business that closes early for an entire season. I think it’s a pretty cool idea, as the folks I know who work in publishing seem to be hard workers. And if I worked in publishing, I’d be dancing out the door every Friday at one, too.

I guess I don’t understand how a whole industry can just stop working. I can’t get events confirmed, I can’t talk to someone who literally just called me because they’ve gone for the day. I’m on the East Coast, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for West Coast stores who must finish all their Friday business by 10 in the morning. That’s not a schedule I’d like.

So, while the bookstores actually ramp up their business, those lucky few get a really great weekend for three months. I just hope that some of the publishing staffers frequent the indies wherever they have their summer shares.

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