- They go into media blackout and forgo reading anything about the author or musician because they want to approach the new work with a clear fresh mind
- They obsess about leaked details and teasers about the work and endlessly ponder what it might be about
This approach has its advantages and its disadvantages. It’s actually ruined a few authors for me, as when I started obsessing about J. M. Coetzee (after reading fantastic The Master of St. Petersburg and Disgrace back to back) only to realize that he tends to continually write about the same thing (and also displays the tendency of the aging male syndrome that Joel describes here). But for the best authors, it reveals more about their books than I would have remembered otherwise. Such is the case of my buildup to Murakami’s 1Q84, I’ve re-read both The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and After Dark and have loved my re-experience of them both.
What about you? How do you approach new books? Do you think I’m obsessively crazy in my approach?