There are probably writers who get tired of seeing their book(s) in the wild, but that’s not me. When it happens, it’s a giant surprise, partly because my books had smaller publishing runs so there aren’t that many around, and partly because it’s just surprising! There’s a crazy sense of accomplishment that goes with it (for me), a “holy crap, I did that!” feeling. It’s a huge, huge gift.
When I write a book, I don’t think about the reality of what will happen to it. But once a book is launched, it *goes* somewhere, onto a shelf or into a book bag, and this fact is both disconcerting and beautiful. When you send that last draft to your editor, your work is no longer yours. Your words join up with the book peeps’ work and the product begins to live and breathe and do things all by itself. Very weird. So when you see that book in the wild, it’s slightly freaky. You know it, but you don’t. And you don’t know what adventures it’s had–or will have.
Book spotting in a library is a doubly huge gift. That photo came from Mankato West High School, where my kid goes to school. If anybody ever takes it off the shelf, I pray they don’t know him, because he will flip his lid if someone says “Hey, I read your mom’s book, and it had sex in it!” He wouldn’t speak to me for a month. Maybe longer. And while that might sound like a good thing once in a while, it would suck after about 3 hours.
Do you engage in book spotting for your favorite authors (or for yourself)? Tell us about it!