Sometime ago, somewhere, I read about someone (wow, how is that for specifics?) — an author — grumbled about how a fan came up and gushed how he’d finished the author’s book in one day. The author expressed some annoyance at having poured his blood, sweat and tears into the book for months and years…only for it to be gobbled up in a matter of hours.
I can understand that. Wrestling to find the perfect word only to have someone skim over it like it didn’t matter. Except it did. If the word choice hadn’t been perfect, the characters perfectly flawed, the setting perfectly drawn, the reader wouldn’t have been so captivated.
Of course, I mostly see this from the point of view as a reader. I love when I get swept up in a book and can’t put it down. There’s something magical about it.
And, I admit, I’m a little jealous of the writer who can do this…but only once I’ve finished the book because when I’m in the middle of it, I’m too absorbed.
About eight years ago, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks did this to me. This week, it was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’m in the middle of Mockingjay, book three, and it’s killing me. I have tried to savor it. I’ll put the book down, but it’s only a matter of minutes before I tear it open again. Even as I type this, I’m giving it furtive glances out of the corner of my eye.
For better or worse, which books have done this to you?