I've never been quite so depressed after reading a publishing memoir as I was this weekend.
Avid Reader by Robert Gottlieb (an extraordinary editor) in and of itself is not depressing. A lot of people might read it and enjoy it.
Me, I'm fixated on the fact he read incoming novels overnight and got back to his writers the next day. THE NEXT FRIGGING DAY. And he did this all the time. Not only on rush jobs. Not just on important books. All the books.
I gaze upon my list of requested fulls and just weep.
And then there's the fact I'll not only never be as well-read as the Avid Reader himself, I'll never come close.
And of course, he was at S&S and Knopf back in the day before Bookscan and the tyranny of the P&L sheet.
There are some other problems with this book (as in a complete lack of any kind of exploration of challenges faced and overcome) but I'm too depressed to come out from under the covers and discuss them.
(My favorite books about publishing are Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind by Ellen Brown and The Most Dangerous Book by Kevin Birmingham--interesting that both are about books first and people second!)