A friend of mine recently sent me a picture of her coffee table at her Montana cabin. At first I was a little confused. Then I noticed my book, right there, sharing pride of place with Gorillas in the Mist. Omigod. How flattering! I immediately posted that picture on my Facebook page.
That prompted another friend, in Kansas, to post a picture of my book in her reading pile, along with such intriguing books as Passage, The Only Bush I Trust Is my Own, The Martian, and Medieval Folklore. That caused another friend to chime in that my book is on her nightstand along with Selected Poems by Robert Frost, the Holy Bible, and The Complete Guide to Labyrinths.
I also happen to know that my book has made it as far as Australia, Singapore, Argentina, England, Canada, and Germany. It has developed a life of its own. My little book, all grown up, making new friends and visiting places I may never have a chance to go. That’s amazing to me.
As silly as it may sound, I’ve visited the one on the shelf of my local library more than once since it “moved in.” (Sadly, it’s always there. Never checked out. But I live in hope.) I like to see what books share its shelf. I like that it’s hanging out with books by Calvin Trillin and Rebecca Solnit.
(As a side note, holy cow, Now I have a call number! It’s 814.6 ABE. Should I get a tattoo? If so, where should I put it? Hmmm…)
I try to check out one of my book’s shelf-mates whenever I stop by to say hello. (It’s important to get to know your child’s friends.) Currently I’m reading I Think You’re Totally Wrong by David Shields and Caleb Powell. It’s very interesting, because it’s a conversation between two writers. Currently they are complaining that their loved ones rarely read what they write.
I find that comforting, because I happen to know that my very own sister, and some of my closest friends, haven’t gotten around to finishing my book. If you ask me, that’s akin to someone telling you that your newborn baby looks like a monkey. But now I won’t feel as insulted. Monkeys abound, apparently.