Friday, January 29, 2016

Will You Be My Best Friend?

A funny thing happened to me on the way to February. I suddenly remembered that I had a blog. That’s me acknowledging the lack of recent posts, but not quite apologizing. Unless you want me to. All requests for apologies must be sent in writing and submitted to the address listed on my website. Wait a second. I have a website?! A funny thing happened to me on the way to February…

For those of you interested, I’ve got a quick Rise of the Seer update. It still hasn’t been published. I’m waiting…still waiting…on the copy for the back of the book. Those little words have to be just right. I’ve submitted suggestions and am currently awaiting the final product. After that I’ll see interior layouts and approve the cover. That’s it. I want to give a release date. I don’t have a precise one yet other than to say, soon. I don’t think there is anyone on earth who wants this book to be finished more than I do. When the publishing date draws close I’ll post a countdown so you can prepare for how hard to party and acquire the appropriate amount of confetti.

I approve of this level of celebration and confetti. 
On that happy note, let’s talk about becoming friends with books. As with most relationships and interactions, I know I don’t approach things from a typical perspective. And I can’t be trusted in a bookstore without a budget. Inevitably books just jump off of the shelves and into my hands. I’ve mentioned before our house rule is that no new books may be purchased if there is no longer room available on your assigned “to-read” shelf. Here’s a current look at my shelf for those curious:

Still plenty of room to work with!
Some of these books I’ve started and placed back on the shelf because I’m always on the lookout for the perfect book. I don’t know how it is for you, but when I begin a book I recognize that we’re going to spend some time together. We’re forming a relationship. The length and depth of that relationship is entirely up to the book. I really don’t have any control over it.

I will say that the last couple of books I’ve read have turned out to be acquaintances only. We hung out for a little while, but nothing progressed and they’ve ended up in my trade back bin. Usually within the first chapter or so I can get a general sense of how our relationship will proceed. I’m not often wrong. I will confess here, that if we are still on an acquaintance level friendship and I’m more than halfway through the book, skimming will begin to happen and sometimes, on a rare and unhappy occasion for both of us, a clean break will occur. Yes, a couple of books have ended up in the trade back bin before completion. When the relationship isn’t right, it’s best to part ways.

Sometimes though…


Something magical happens in the pages of a book.

The story grabs you and says, “Hey, I think I know you.”

And as you read it the more you feel that pull, like this one could swallow you entirely…and you wouldn’t mind one bit.

A line grabs you and you relate to it on some cosmic level in a way that doesn’t happen all that often. The words wash over you and you never knew you needed them strung together in that particular order until now.

And then you realize that this book could quite easily become one of your best friends.

And there is no way this one would ever mingle with acquaintances in the trade back bin.

But you’re only 14 pages in, so you have to restrain yourself so you don’t appear too eager. And you tell yourself, “Play it cool, Autry. Play it cool. There’s a lot of story left.” But you’re already secretly planning the next time you’ll curl up in your reading blanket with a cup of tea and your not-yet-but-soon-hopefully best friend. Now, I didn’t want to say anything because we’re so early in the relationship, but I *may* have found another best friend. I’m hopeful that things will keep rolling along like they have for the last 37 pages. I know it’s early, but I’m tired of meeting acquaintances every evening. So if you need me this weekend, I’ll be getting to know this book a little more. 

I even gave this book a bona fide bookmark. No old receipt or meaningless scrap of paper for this new friend!
Notice the little glint of sunlight illuminating the cover? This means something. I know it.

Happy reading to you and yours, my fellow bookworms! Here’s hoping your next book is one you will meet again in another few years with just as much excitement and joy as your first meeting.