I love to read. I have always loved to read. I am a voracious reader; a devourer of books in big, gulping page-fuls. I get nervous, short of breath and feel a distinct tightness in my chest when I have finished a book and realize that I don’t have another immediately waiting for my consumption. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t have a stack of books next to your bed because it causes some kind of anxiety. But I must have a stack of books, each patiently waiting to be picked up and read in turn, based on its library return date, or I become unduly anxious.
There is something infinitely delicious about the sensation of being the first reader of a new library book. There is that distinctive “new book” smell, the crinkly sound of the clear protective cover, and the slight resistances from the book spine as the first pages are turned back. There is that wonderful anticipation, the thrilling excitement of knowing that you will be entertained for a few hundred pages. The fervent hope that the author will hold you in thrall and be able to plunge you into a miraculous universe of their creation.
I have favorite authors whose next book I wait impatiently for and promise myself that, this time, I will take my time reading their literary offering, savoring each page slowly and mindfully. That promise lasts for about one chapter and then I become so engrossed that I find myself galloping through the pages, berating the speed at which I am reading but unable to rein myself in, until I come crashing to the end of the book with a huge sigh of satisfaction and a wistful sense that I will have to wait a few more months before that author publishes another book.
My reading appetite is somewhat eclectic – certainly not very highbrow or erudite. I tend toward modern day mystery authors – JA Jance, Robert B. Parker, Jo Nesbo, or Baldacci. Or, gentle authors that quietly remind the reader of life lessons – Alexander McCall Smith, Isabel Allende. There is a certain reassurance that you know you will be satisfied by the latest J.D. Robb or Chris Bohjalian novel. And I am always willing to be transported to a time beyond our reality when reading Juliet Marillier, Patricia McKillip and Terry Brooks. They are some of my steady, “go-to” authors, who I know will never disappoint.
But I also have discovered new authors: Nina George, “The Little Paris Bookshop” – an absolutely, lovely book that kept me guessing until the very last pages; Diane Setterfield’s, “The Thirteenth Tale” and her subsequent books that have not disappointed; Erin Morgenstern’s, “The Night Circus” – I can’t wait for her next book and I just discovered her blog! It reads with as much delightful mystery as her circus and hints that she is, perhaps, closer to finishing another book.
To all of my favorite authors whose next new book I will wait for with baited breath … hurry, please! This time, I promise, I will read more slowly and more mindfully, I will savor every carefully written word and turn of phrase. I promise