8.13.2014

The cat is out of the bag...and wearing a kilt

I can't remember when I first started reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.Years ago. And though I normally push the books I like into the hands of potential readers almost as soon as I've finished with it, I don't usually recommend Outlander and its sequels to people. I suspect it's because 1) it's a gooey love story at heart, 2) I don't want people to know just how much I love the gooey love story, and 3) the ending of the first book is challenging to read.

A picture Outlander fans have been waiting two decades for.
Catriona Balfe as Claire Beauchamp and Sam Heughan as 
Jamie Fraser.
I shouldn't have been surprised when the entire Outlander fandom came out into the open when the Starz series premiered at the beginning of August. To be honest, I've been avoiding the fandom because even I can't handle their fanaticism. We fans can be embarrassing. Since I watched the first episode of the series, I've been diving headlong into the fandom because I just can't help myself.

Not only have I been following (stalking) Outlander stuff online, I seem to be stumbling over Outlander fans in real life. I got a fellow reader hooked on the series a few weeks ago. (I saw her reading the book one day and she later tweeted that she couldn't stop reading.) Then a woman I was giving a tour of the library to noticed our collection of the series and said, "I see you've got the classics."

This post isn't to hype the series. At this point, Outlander doesn't need any more hype now that the kilt-ogling Heughligans* are out in force. More than anything, the reaction to the Starz series renews my faith in the connection people can have with books. The fans of the book and TV series are not kids; these are not children's or young adult books. These are books people fell in love with as adults. The joy readers take in the ongoing saga just proves to me that a reader's ability to bond with a book never goes away, so long as they find the right book.

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* Google this if you dare.

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