Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lament, and a Late Night's Reading

I have my first library card in years.

What?! I've worked in bookstores forever! I've read books before they were even ready for the shelf! Books not even bound sometimes, just pages wrapped with a rubber band. I haven't even needed a card from a library for a very long while. But this new stage of my life requires one. And a PIN! Who knew?

So, I went to the Douglass-Truth Library just up the hill from where I live and found a copy of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, by Maggie Stiefvater. Holding it in my lap, I wonder who else has read this book? What caused the discolored upper right hand side warping? Jostled tea cup? Dropped and then caught just inside the suds in the bathtub? Why was the page turned down at chapter 4? How could the reader stop right there? Was s/he just marking a good spot? or was s/he (okay, probably a she, but, still, there is a GREAT male buddy character in here) really just ready to move on, no piece of grass or matchbook cover (my mom used those) to slide in as a memory cue? Time for a sandwich?

This book is well-read. It's covered in bends and scratches. I can feel the reader's additions to it, the backpack shove, encounters with a pen, the page edges softened where all those hands held it. There is an impression of words on the cover where someone used it as a flat spot to write a note.

The other thing I've noticed is that the spine is intact, smooth, no creases. It's as if it's always read in a single day, quickly, in one long rush of words and breath. Probably the same way I'm reading it: in bed, propped up by pillows, hoping that morning doesn't come too soon.
(Ages 12 and up. Flux. $9.95. Available now.)

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