Silly as it seems, I’ve begun to feel a growing curiosity about the fate of my books. (See blog 1/13/14) I wonder where they go when they are sold. Did the readers enjoy them? Were the books shared with friends or left abandoned in the rain? (See blog 12/6/13) Recently one of my former students wrote to say she’d gone to the library to see about my novels. All of them were checked out. If she wanted to read one, she’d have to go on a waiting list.
Her report caught me by surprise. More likely, I would have expected her to find my titles gathering dust in a dark corner of the reading room.
I admit, as a writer, I doubt myself and so it came as a surprise when a check appeared in the mail from my publisher. The number of books sold wasn’t overwhelming, but there were sales each month, like the stead drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet even though two of the novels were published as far back as 2009.
How did these new readers find me, I wondered. More importantly, what did they think when they read my stories?
To ask my question is absurd, of course. I can never know who bought my books. Yet to me each sale sets another of my children adrift in the world. How can I not want to know something about the foster home in which it finds itself? Will the book be greeted with a shrug of indifference. Or will it make a friend for me, someone whom I shall never see and never know?
Perhaps this deep nostalgia is an early form of writer’s madness. Do other artists ponder, as I do, about the fate of their cloned children?
(Courtesy of www.photographersdirect.com)