I love books. The shape, the size, the weight, the feel of them. And while I do my share of online shopping, there's nothing like walking into bookstore. The scent of inks and fresh paper of a new bookstore; the dry, dusty smell of a used bookstore. Both alike are heaven to me and I find myself inhaling deeply whenever I walk into one. I can spend hours browsing, looking for familiar authors and new ones, gazing at the covers, reading the backs and inside jacket covers, scanning the first chapter before deciding whether or not to buy.
And, of course, I then take them home and enjoy what's written on the pages within.
While I have met books I haven't liked, they're surprisingly rare considering the volume (ha!) I read. Usually if I'm having problems getting through a particular tome, I'll set it aside and come back later(sometimes much later) and discover that the book is fine; I just wasn't in a place to appreciate it. Like what had happened with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.
I had picked up Eye of the World when it'd been out for a couple of years (about 17 years ago, dang!), intrigued by the cover art. However, when I read the first couple of chapters, I thought, "Lord of the Rings clone," and set it aside. Then one day a couple of years later, having nothing read by my favorite authors, I picked it up again and was hooked. As soon as I finished, I went out and snapped up the rest of the books, which by then was up to book 5, The Fires of Heaven. Feeling smug that I'd waited until the entire series had been published (I'd read David Eddings Belgariad where I discovered that series could indeed extend beyond the traditional three), I settled down and prepared to find out the end of Rand al'Thor, Mat and Perrin's journeys.
Only to realize as I reached midway through Heaven that there was more to come. A lot more. I hung in there until book seven, then decided to just buy and shelve them as they came out and wait until Jordan was finished and I could read them in one fell swoop.
Now, fourteen (plus prequels and companion books) books later, I'm once more reading the series, starting at the very beginning and taking my time. The latest--and what I'd hoped would be the last--of the books (14) was published last month, thanks to Brandon Sanderson who stepped in when Robert Jordan so tragically died before he could finish what had to be his life's work. I'd seen Mr. Jordan during his tour for book 12. He'd promised then that book 14 would be the last as there wasn't enough material for any more. But that wasn't quite true, as there is apparently enough for two more books before the absolute end.
Seventeen books altogether.
Well, as I said, I love books, and more, I love rereading good ones--for me that's what makes a book good, it's re-readability (made up word)--and I proved the Wheel of Time's re-read value back when I would start at book one each time a new volume was published. Which is a good thing as, unless the last two books are published relatively quickly, it looks like I'll be spending considerable time with Rand and crew for the foreseeable future.
I can't wait.