I'm feeling book-drunk. In a good way AND a bad way.
First, the bad way. It has hit me rather hard that there are a whole lot of books out there. You probably already knew this. I knew this. But it still hit me. And not just any books, but books I want to read. Check out the sidebar of books on this site. That's months of reading right there, in a neat little column, and it's only a wee fraction of the reading possibilities. I've recently discovered lots of cool kid-lit blogs written by people who really keep up with publishing, who have so many good reviews of cool new books and I want to read everything, and I'm completely overwhelmed! So many books! This is good, yes, it's only good. I tell myself that. With a little rime of ice forming on my heart, I tell myself how good it is that there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fabulous books out there to read. But my book feels so tiny all of a sudden! It's okay, it's okay. Breathe.
And then, there's the good kind of book-drunk, that comes from reading a really good book, like Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale, or Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. I'm slowly making my way through the middle of Perdido Street Station, which is a dense, dark garden of a book, and I felt the need for a little lightness so I picked up Princess Academy and read a few chapters. . . and then I wolfed the whole thing down like a tray of cupcakes. It was scrumptious. When I'm really loving a book I tend to read the end so eagerly and so fast I gloss over the writing of the final chapters in my haste to find out what happens. And then, feeling sort to glutted, I go back and reread them, savoring them this time. It strikes me now this is "having your cupcake and eating it too," and it feels like that. Princess Academy was like that. I'm very pleased that Shannon Hale wrote an endorsement of my book, which will appear on the back cover!
While I was reading, Alexandra called, and as book-serendipity would have it, she was excited about a book she had just bought, which just happened to be the brand-new YA novel by none other than China Mieville, called Un Lun Dun. I thought this was a very cool coincidence. We will be swapping Princess Academy for Un Lun Dun very soon.
In the meantime, the bad kind of book-drunkenness perists a little. It's hard not to be intimidated by the ocean of books out there. I try to live in my own little bubble and not pay to much attention to the vast amount of things going on in the universe at all times for fear I'll get paralyzed and not get anything done. Like when super heroes develop super-hearing and go kind of crazy by all the voices in their head until they learn how to control it? Reading a good book is wonderful for obvious reasons, but then a little voice can creep into your head giving you all kinds of ideas and imperatives about the books you ought to be writing, and how they should have more of this or that in them. . . and it can spin out of control a little. Sometimes I make myself stop reading fiction for short stretches of time. It never lasts long; I can't stand it. But I might ease back into it with short fiction, something that won't threaten to pull me away from my own project too much. I don't know, it's all neurosis. I'd better get back to work now. Cheers!