There is nothing in life more thrilling than the acquisition of a brand new book. Ok, that might be a stretch. I have some 200-year-old books that make me go gaga, but then again, I am a rabid reader and love to collect all things bookish, ebooks included.
But waiting for the release of a new book can be agony, both for the author and for the reader. I know I've planned book purchases months in advance for a book I might have only read a short blurb for. When you read perhaps the first one or two chapters, six months in advance of release, that is a whole new level of reader agony.
Some authors are an auto buy for me, but I love to find debut authors or simply new-for-me authors. There are so many well told stories out there that it’s sometimes hard to decide what to read first. While I have never particularly compared myself to other readers, (it doesn’t really help to know just how obsessed you are) I find myself anxious for the book to be listed for presale. I've been known to scour bookshops for missed past titles and, since the internet is so full of bookish information, I now scour author websites, plundering for any hint of teaser content.
Sigh. There really is no hope for me.
On the day the book arrives, either by my fast swoop into the bookshop or the delightful postie who brings goodies to my door, my nerves are abuzz. But it is not just having the story that thrills me. Posted packages are carefully opened and the book examined for inexcusable damage. This is a BOOK after all, and the postal service has no right to mishandle them.
Next, and I haven’t succumbed to the urge to wear the white gloves yet, the cover image is examined. The font, the hero (bare-chested always appeals), the heroine (striving not to hate how perfectly pretty she appears), the delicate art of cover background and the finish; matte or glossy (my preference is glossy). Next the back cover blurb – is it the same blurb that prompted me to buy the book? Sometimes they're different. Authors often have more than one. And do not forget the spine. Will I need to turn my head to read the title once the book sits on my shelf?
Stop - I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to read it before I decide whom it sits beside and I can't start just yet!
The moment must be right. The kids are about to come home, and I must be a good mother and listen to their school woes, all the while trying to ignore the book that holds pride of place at my favourite spot to read. Eventually the children drift away to their own amusements and I can drag out my largest coffee cup (you know: the one that holds enough liquid for two) and end my suffering.