In which I admit that I do frivolous, girly things to help me cope with the pressures of the publishing industry

This book nerd’s secret passion.

So I just discovered The PR Girl Blog (which I am loving), randomly enough while trying to learn more about Cision, since a certain big book publisher out here in SF just posted a publicity job that (among other bits that completely disqualify me) requires candidates to be proficient in it. Anyway, speaking as someone whose route into something resembling PR (?) was rather circuitous, it’s a fun insight into the field from someone who lives and breathes it (and was trained in it!). I won’t lie to you, though, I am also totally eating up the posts about shoes and fitness and relaxation and fashion and stuff. It got me thinking about why I never write about all those lifestyle things… really I am all about it, but as a literary type and a San Franciscan, I don’t know, it just feels so politically incorrect. Maybe it’s a Nor Cal/So Cal thing? (PR Girl is in San Diego.) Besides, I’m barely qualified to write about that stuff, considering that I’m too broke to indulge in anything ever and I just bought boots in the freaking comfort shoe section (although in my defense, they are really cute). I honestly feel kind of silly even writing this. But hell, my most-commented post here was about books and dating, so I know we book nerds can appreciate the frivolous side of life when we want to. And although I haven’t been writing a lot here about my internships or my attempts to “make it” in publishing, there are definitely days when I need to find ways to relax. Like… every day.

So, stressed-out book nerds of the world, what are your guilty pleasures? How do you unwind? (No fair saying reading!) I can’t say fashion is fun for me anymore because I spend too much time stressing about all the people in San Francisco who are better dressed (and better paid) than I am, but I love me a frothy overpriced coffee drink, and once upon a time I was all about running (I keep saying I’ll pick it up again once I get a real job and the craziness dies down). When I was in Korea in May, I did like the locals do and went completely crazy for skincare and makeup brands Skin Food and Etude House, which I’m still kind of obsessed with even though they’re prohibitively expensive in the States. And if I can break my own rule and choose something book-related, it’d definitely be chick lit… I rolled my eyes at all the Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner titles floating around on expat bookshelves when I got to Japan, but I read my way through a bunch of them my last couple of months there and loved it (Twenties Girl? Pure genius.) Oh, and I have seen every episode of Sex and the City. Twice. And I am not ashamed.

(Okay, I’m still a little afraid that someone I work with will see this and be like “YOU are a big fake who secretly wants to live in the suburbs and eat at the Olive Garden every Saturday night, and you are hereby banned forever from this hip, glamorous industry! Also you should see someone about those neuroses.” I think this even though I know that book publishing is a very accepting place. I mean, there is a crystal ball in my office. What is wrong with me?)

In other news, today is the first day of Litquake! I’ll be volunteering at the Off The Richter Scale event (do you see now why I don’t have time for running?). I finally just got around to looking at the schedule of events (again, insanely busy), and I’m really excited to attend some of them. So off I go again!

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5 thoughts on “In which I admit that I do frivolous, girly things to help me cope with the pressures of the publishing industry

  1. letizia says:

    Ok, first of all, those shoes are adorable (bonus points for being comfortable!).

    I unwind by dancing like a complete idiot while cooking (occasionally singing off key at the same time, may as well, at that point).

    I’ve also discovered this show called “Gossip Girl” which apparently has been on forever and I believe is aimed for teenage girls. One of my students is writing a paper on it in relation to gender roles so I decided to watch an episode so I would know what the student was talking about. I am hooked and should probably be embarrassed to admit it, but, oh well. We all have a 13 year old living inside of us somewhere!

    Thanks for reminding us that we can love books and be frivolous too…love this post :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Cooking! I forgot about that, but I guess I didn’t include it because it’s one of those things we silly San Franciscans take verrrry seriously.

      And haha, Gossip Girl… I have a friend (late-twenties gay male, fwiw) who LOVES that show. He has a small posse of mutual acquaintances who discuss every episode with him in great detail on Facebook. I’ve been pretty snide about it but deep down I’m just afraid that if I watch a single episode I too will be hooked!

      (Come to think of it, didn’t Gossip Girl start out as a book series? Interesting!)

      • letizia says:

        I love the story of your friend’s group who discuss each episode of Gossip Girl :)

        I didn’t know that it started out as a book series – I’ll have to let my student know!

  2. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog. Your post totally made my day. I too am a bit of a book nerd myself. Almost every night before I go to bed after my hectic work day, I lock myself in my room and read and read and read. Right now, I’m obsessed with the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (SO cliche, I know). It’s honestly a great read and a nice escape from reality. I also started running again, and I’ll admit I was so much more in shape during my college days, but I’m trying! Anyway, keep up the awesome blog – I’ve always been curious about the industry in San Francisco. One of my good friends just moved there to jumpstart her PR career! Much love!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Aw, glad you enjoyed it! I meant to comment on your blog and say hi before I posted this but I was doing so many things that I totally forgot! I think a lot of people in book publicity come to it from a background of loving books and kind of figure out the PR part as they go, and it’s really easy not to go beyond the basics of mailing out review copies, so your blog has been really eye-opening for me… I’ll definitely be following it in the future for more tips :)

      I’ve actually been wanting to read Fifty Shades, haha… but one of my internships is actually at an erotica publisher and I get access to so much well-written, free erotica (in addition to the other books on my to-read list) that I doubt I’ll ever get around to it at this rate! One of these days, though!

      Take care!

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