Do you know when your favorite author's next book is due out? Do you wait with bated breath? (or is it baited breath, which makes me picture a hook with a minnow stuck to it hanging form my uvula.) Maybe pre-order it? Are you one to read the reviews first, then decide to buy, or do you trust your author enough to just snap it up, willy nilly? And then, do you sit down right then and there and read the thing?
When I first graduated from college, I worked for a bookstore, and there was introduced to the likes of Jayne Ann Krentz, Katherine Sutcliffe and Julie Garwood. I would snatch those new books straight out of their boxes and spend the rest of the day waiting to get home to read them. The orange couch saw many a late night with me curled up on it, reading. Julie Garwood and I pulled more than one all-nighter because I was completely unable to stop reading.
And, oh Lord, when Harry Potter and I became acquainted. Well, thank the Good Lord for the internet, because I was ordering the UK editions from Waterstones. When Book 4 (HP & the Goblet of Fire), I picked it up from the small bookstore on 23rd Avenue in Portland, took it home that night, and read it nearly straight through. I was off on Sunday, skipped church, and read. I'd finished it by dinner. The day after its release. And the only way I could stave off the growling anticipation was to order, once again, the UK edition and read that through. And, sweet mother happiness, when that woman, that author, began taking more than a year, more than two between books, I would read through the whole series, US and UK editions, just to while away the time.
I have a friend who will buy her long awaited new book - maybe by Karen Marie Moning, maybe by Susan Elizabeth Peters - and then not read it until ... later. It was placed on a shelf (left in a bag in the car? Shoved in a drawer?) for sometimes weeks before she picked it up to read. So the anticipation could grow. And all I can think is, how on earth do you stand it??? Another friend made the decision not to buy the latest HP until the next was about to be released. Oh, for the love of Pete, do you know how many secrets from the damn Order of the Phoenix I had to keep to myself because she wanted to hold off the gratification? Now, was that nice of her to do that to me??? (Good thing my name's not Sheldon Cooper!)
I find trilogies and continuing series particularly difficult. Nora Roberts is a complete master of the trilogy, particularly. And each one offers a piece of the whole. In her Blood Brothers series, I mean, of course I knew the three couples would form out of the six characters, but still... how would they save the world together?
I am already counting down to October 25th - as long as UPS decides to actually leave the parcels at my door - as two of my go-to authors have new books coming out. Kristin Higgins latest, and Tamora Pierce's final book in Beka Cooper's trilogy. The next nine days will find me re-reading the other two books in that trilogy to further tighten my eagerness to read Beka's book. And I've heard tell that Kristin Higgins may actually be adding the hero's POV to this book. But don't quote me on that. Maybe that was for the next book and not this one. All I can say is, I am going to be very tired come Wednesday the 26th...
A woman sitting beside me at a Starbucks said in sympathy to me one afternoon as I closed my book, obviously having finished it, what will you do now? I smiled at her, and calmly pulled the next book in the series from the depths of my bag. I'd come prepared. Even if I didn't open the new book immediately, it was there, ready to soothe my nerves and lead me into the next adventure.