Wednesday, February 21, 2007


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!


Alexandra S said...

I know what you mean Lainitoot! There are so many good books sometimes I don't believe it is possible to find another book I could be head over heels about but it happens again & again & AGAIN- Thank God! Un Lun Dun is SO incredibly good my head is doing backflips at how neat this world he created is and that is such a cool coincidence we happen to be reading the same author without knowing it! (This likely won't happen again since usually, or course, I am reading material that is just waaaAAyyyy over your head.)

Mardougrrl said...

Oh, YES...I know! It can definitely be paralyzing to consider all of the books out there already--that even happens to the editors/publishers as they prepare to launch another book into the market. But, I find that eventually, a book will find its audience, if it's good. And you are such a fabulous writer (yes, I am gushing) that I have no doubt whatsoever that your book will be lighting up the eyes of fairie-drunk kids all over the country!

chest of drawers said...

Somewhere, someone is probably talking to her best friend about a fantastic book she´s read from a writer named Laini Taylor!

Jolie said...

Princess Academy is a plate of cupcakes, pretty ones that not only are irresistible but taste as good as they look. Loved it and couldn't put it down. Isn’t it the best when that happens? For me, it was just yesterday. I've been forcing my way through a book (I won't mention the title) wanting so badly to like it but right now it's like me trying to eat a plate of trout (not quite like cupcakes). But then I happened into the bookstore (always dangerous) and picked up The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith and I can't leave it alone. I would compare it more to a bag M&M's though (it's written in verse) as it’s so easy to just pop one after the other into your mouth until the whole things is gone so fast that you wish you had more.

Dharmashanti said...

No shortage of good books! What a blessing. I have two shelves full of books on my "to read" list. And then there is the one I'm getting ready to publish myself.


P.S. My blog has moved to

Sophie said...

We read books the same way!
(skimming along and then
doubling back)
I feel an understanding with
your post - I get overwhelmed
with excitement at all the
tantalizing books to taste -
and then - i take a teeny break
( a day or two) and return with
fresh zeal and appetite for more -

i shall look up this book you
mentioned as well as Alexandra's...

hugs, smiles, back pats:)

Terri /Tinker said...

Laini, as many wonderful books as there are in the world, just from the short stories I've read of yours here, I am certain that none will have the exact same juicy Laini Taylorness-flavor of yours! And I'm sure there are still kids who gobble up books as fast as I did when I was young who will be so excited by the cover art and title alone, they will save up their babysitting money, they will promise to do all their chores, beg and plead their parents, just to buy it. And then there are all the grown-ups who love a good YA fiction book, too (there are more of us than many people like to admit).

lizardek said...

I gobbled up all of SHannon Hale's books recently myself...if you haven't read her others, I can HIGHLY recommend them. :)