Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Like clockwork, the yearly Book Festival migraine is back…

Every year, I feel like I’m being a party pooper.

You see, there is this incredible event called the Decatur Book Festival in early September in nearby Decatur, Georgia (adjacent to Atlanta) each year. Each festival gets even better than the last: it’s a feast for book lovers, complete with book stalls, formal readings, author signings, performances, story times, keynote addresses, parties, dinners, and more.

And every. single. year. I miss either all or part of it due to migraine.

I could blame my menstrual-related migraines, which always seem to occur when the book gods descend here in Georgia. I could blame the same stress-related phenomenon that seems to trigger migraines every time I go to a big, happy event like a wedding or much-anticipated vacation. Maybe it’s that seasons-changing, end-of-summer migraine that sometimes hits me for a few days.

In any case, it’s here.

Yup. Like clockwork, the Decatur Book Festival migraine is back.

This year, I am trying to take a different tack. Instead of being frustrated that I will miss the event (due to the lovely combination of work and migraine, or, as I call it, Working While Having a Really Obnoxious and Mind-Numbing Migraine), I will focus on the good things.

1. At least I didn’t get more formally involved this year. If I’d rented a booth or arranged to be an on-site bookseller for venue sales, I would have had no choice but to drive to Atlanta and hang out in the heat to work.

2. All in all, I am a very lucky bibliophile, even if I can’t commune with my bookish brethren this weekend. I have my own dreamy bookshop and can follow the festival’s goings-on via friends’ Facebook pages and Twitter. I can pick and choose what parts of the festival I want to learn about.

3. Finally, I have an advantage that most attendees do not: my job requires me to not only attend other book events throughout the year but also run smaller-scale events at my own shop. I will get many, many more chances to hobnob with authors and meet up-and-coming writers before they make it big.

4. Even if I am dealing with continuing migraine this weekend, I have my business and my family and my boyfriend and my little baby cat and my little comfy house. I will be just fine.

(She writes all this as she surreptitiously looks at the festival’s schedule and wishes, just the tiniest bit, she had a healthier clone who could party all weekend…)

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    Janet, I used to work at the local university book store during rushes that occur at the beginning and end of each term. Day 3 was always Migrainey, regular as clockwork. I think 10 hr days and thousands of people within a very small space while eating and resting only irregularly probably had a lot to do with it. All those are such big triggers for me. In those days I didn’t even know what a trigger was! Amazing all the things I’ve learned about how my body conjures up a big ‘ol Migraine!

  • Tammy
    7 years ago

    The same thing happens to me every September when my family participates in a neighborhood fall festival. It’s a lot of fun, but I spend at least one of the 3 days with a migraine. It takes all of us to pull it off so even with a migraine, I’m still needed. We found ways this year to give each other breaks by putting a futon mattress in the back of the truck and taking turns for naps. It really helped!

  • Poll