Sunday, 18 April 2010

Book pain for a book lover

Among the many woes that can befall a book lover, one of the worst, in my experience, is losing a book.

This happened to me recently - two weeks ago, at Easter. I had just received my Amazon.ca book order, which contained 7 books ordered with the gift certificate from my mother for Christmas. I had spent many hours combing through Amazon and my book list (from you, my dear Readers!) to narrow down the list to something affordable (the original book order I wanted more than doubled the gift certificate!!). On the Monday April 5, the books were delivered - and yes, I'll tell you what they were:

-The Cypher Garden by Martin Edwards


- The Last Detective - Peter Lovesey

- The Crossing Places -Elly Griffiths

- Finch - Jeff Vandermeer

- The Hotel Under the Sand - Kage Baker

- Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

- Soulless - Gail Carriger

I was amazed that Canada Post had even delivered books on a holiday Monday! but there it was, and I opened up my very late Christmas books and held my books lovingly, looking at each one of them, taking the evening to decide which one needed to be read first.

Martin Edwards' The Cypher Garden won that place.

I had to know what happened next to Hannah Scarlett and Daniel Kind - she the cold case DCI, he the historian retired to the lovely Lake District with his new girlfriend. So the next day, I took our youngest to the dentist for his very first visit. I'm blaming the news that this child, who is 5 years old, has 8 cavities, for what happened next. On the way home, still reeling from exactly how much this was going to cost and how on earth we were going to get him to go through 8 cavities being filled, I put the book on the seat next to me. And got up, and got off the bus, and as it drove away, I knew what I had done.

"My book! I left it on the bus!" I think I said a few unprintable words, then realized someone's five year old ears were pricked up, and had to try to calm down. "It's just a book," I mumbled all the way down the hill. "It's ok. I can buy a new one." But it wasn't, was it, my Gentle Readers? Bound up in this book was the love that my mother had sent the gift certificate with, and the hours spent singling it out as one I needed to get asap, and the love of this new mystery series that I have to read all the books of now (thanks to Geraniumcat and Book pusher who blogged about Martin Edwards recently). I had read the first chapter, and I had taken the day off work because of the dentist visit, and after I dropped Graham off at daycare, I had the rest of the day set aside for reading The Cypher Garden. It felt like a loss, and it still does.

I am of course going to buy another copy, as soon as I can. Unfortunately Chapters the Canadian book superstore here isn't carrying any Edwards - I drop in every few days just in case there is a miracle - and the local mystery store just closed, who was carrying him. That leaves a special order, except I haven't been to Collected Works since January as it's a special trip and I haven't gone out much this year. So I've taken to staring at my husband, who still has his Christmas book certificate to use, and saying : "Are you ready yet? have you done your order?' so that I can add my book along and not pay extra shipping costs.

Yes, we did call the bus company lost and found, but no one turned in the book. I console myself with thinking that maybe someone picked it up and is happily discovering the joys of mysteries, and especially Daniel and Hannah and the Cypher Garden mystery.

It still hurts a little, though.

18 comments:

Cath said...

I'm one of the Martin Edwards fans too, Susan. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of such a wonderful book. I can well imagine how that would hurt. I hope you enjoy The Crossing Places... not sure if you saw my post about it and its sequel The Janus Stone, but they are both wonderful. Hope all is well with you? Miss seeing you around blogland.

Nela San said...

Hi Susan,

I know it's quite upsetting but turn it positively! Think that here in Italy last March 26th a 21 years guy from Florence launched a simple initiative called "Leggere, leggere, leggere!" (=read, read, read!) whereas everybody had possibility to give as gift a book he read to someone he met on the street (without knowing him). Idea launched via Facebook, mails and blogs was very successfull.
So you started same in your country :-)
By the way, I know, it could be shocking. Ciao. Nela San

Jeane said...

Oh no! I'd be very upset to loose a book, too. (I once left my favorite jacket on a bus and never saw it again. Devastating!) Perhaps someone else is enjoying it now, though.

Susan said...

HI Cath - I thought of you, too! I know you've been reading him recently, I've read all your reviews this year! When did you start reading him? Maybe I have you and Geraniumcat mixed up (because you read mysteries, both of you, and a constant addition to my TBR pile!!!) It's made me more determined to get the whole series. I saw your review of Elly Griffiths - you posted about it just after I'd ordered Crossing Places!

I know I haven't been blogging much. I'm still absorbing everything that happened last year, I think. I'm still reading! I haven't felt much inspiration.

Nela San: thanks! there is something like that over here, where you leave a book in a public place, with a note that whoever finds it should enjoy it. It was very popular over here too! So I think of myself doing that with this book....I wanted to read it first, though!

Susan said...

Jeane; I know! I've left umbrellas, clothes, but only once before have I left a book, over 20 years ago. I know it can be replaced, and I hope someone is enjoying it - that does help. It takes over a month to replace here - something going on with the publisher - so it will be a few weeks before I can get a new one.

Martin Edwards said...

Susan, thank you so much for your kind words. I do hope that, when you manage to read the book, it lives up to expectations!

StephanieD said...

Did Edwards just comment on your post?! At least this isn't a total loss.

I feel your pain, Susan. My utmost sympathies.

Gavin said...

Oh, that is painful, but hopefully whoever picked up the book will enjoy it! Have a great week!

Eva said...

Awww: that's too sad! :/

Susan said...

Martin: thanks so much! I still have to review the first one, and had planned to do them together.....I saw on Geraniumcat's blog you might do something with Hannah and Hadrian's Wall, that would be fun!

I do enjoy this series so much. The little bit I managed to read before losing the book, made me look forward to having that afternoon free to read! It'll take me about a month to get it again, so look for a post in June....

thanks for coming by, too!

StepanieD: yes, that was him, the author! very cool, isn't it? very thoughtful of him too. His books make me want to go back to the Lake District immediately for another visit. Plus I like Hannah and Daniel, the two main characters. You should try The Coffin Trail, the first one in the series.

Gavin: I know, it's some comfort! You too....

Eva; thanks! I knew most of us would understand! Compared to the tragedies in the world, it's not much, but it's a book, and so, a treasure....

婷婷 said...

how do u do?

Bybee said...

Book-Twin,
I feel your pain! I left a book somewhere a couple of years ago...I can't even tell you if it was in Japan or Korea. Public transportation was involved, however. Books latch onto our hearts and minds, but it would be nice if they latched onto us physically to prevent these kinds of situations from happening. *Hugs*

DesLily said...

Oh no! how awful ! I'd rather leave an umbrella or coat!! I have no doubt you will savor that book even more when you finally get to read it!

GeraniumCat said...

Oh heavens, how dreadful, poor you - I mislaid a book in my room the other night and that was quite bad enough, much worse to leave it on the bus. I do hope some the others will act as satisfactory stand-ins until you replace it :-)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed re Hadrian's Wall...

Kailana said...

I hope you enjoy your new books! Some of my Christmas books were pre-orders, so I am still waiting for some. :)

Jennifer said...

There is a unique pain to losing a book you are in the middle of reading. My poor husband is not as avid a reader as I am, so he doesn't quite understand my panic / withdrawal when something like that happens. :) Luckily he is very patient and understanding!

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