6.18.2013

Anticipation

As I write this, Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is waiting on the coffee table for me to open it up. But I wanted to pause, first, and reflect on this feeling of anticipation I've been feeling with increasing urgency since I learned that Gaiman was writing a new novel for adults. I can't remember feeling this way since before I switched to ebooks. I suspect this is because its so easy to just download the book. You don't have to deal with any real world hassles.

This feeling of keyed up anticipation turned buying the book into the sort of small, first world saga that populates chapters in literary fiction. First, I had to call my sister to get her Barnes and Noble numbers. Then hitting every red light between work and the bookstore. Then I discovered that my local B&N had rearranged things. At the counter, I waited had to wait behind a chatty old lady to pay for the book. Of course, the lights were red between the bookstore and my apartment complex.

So, here I am, typing and trying to scarf down dinner at the same time because I don't even want the distraction of juggling food and a hardcover book at the same time. The book, surprisingly thin, Is just resting on the table. I haven't even peeked at the text. I've kicked the troublemaker cat out onto the balcony. I've told my family not to expect me to answer the phone this evening. All the while, I'm trying not to wonder about what the story is. That's where anticipation ruins things. You can't try and build the book up in your head because that leads to disappointments, you have to try and forget how long you've been waiting for the book. I want to judge the book on its own merits.

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