I need your help with a new-to-me reading dilemma. If you’re up to the task, ponder the following scenario:
So, after learning that you’re a book blogger, a co-worker shares her “favorite book ever” with you. It’s a pretty hot book, so you accept her copy and actually read it. The longer your read it, the more irritated you become. Finally, in a fit of rage over the misuse of R.E.M. lyrics, you perpetrate violence against the book to such an extent that you’re forced to go to Barnes & Noble and enrich this pretentious author even more by purchasing a replacement copy. While you readily admit that you are psychically responsible for mangling that book, you can’t help but be bitter that the book existed in the first place. You are less willing to admit that you typically make an exception to your otherwise all encompassing “Read and Let Read” policy for those who gush over this book and the subsequent movie. You should probably seek therapy, but you won’t. The rage – when it is stirred up – feels too good.
Several years later this author publishes a new book in another genre. The very thought of the months of promotional Facebook posts, tweets, and email pitches makes you gag. As with Sarah Palin, you’ve taken the step of muting the author’s name so that you can at least avoid some of the tweets. You survived the new book’s publication date and even had the opportunity to vent your feelings with a couple of other bloggers. You’ve all but moved on when some audiobooks arrive on your doorstep. The audiobook version for this new book is included. As soon as you recognize the cover you put it in the donate pile without any unnecessary melodrama. You pat yourself on the back for not feeling the urge to douse your hands in vanilla hand sanitizer after touching it. You’re making progress. Then, when you grab the box of donations to bring to your local library, that same audiobook falls out and on to your car’s floorboard. When you first opened the package from the publisher, the audiobook was cover up and you didn’t bother to look at it closely. This time it fell cover down. As you picked it up you saw the picture of one of the most fabulous audiobook narrators in all the world. Your eyes keep bouncing back and forth between the offending author’s picture and the beloved narrator’s picture. You’re surprisingly torn.