This post was inspired by my binge-reading of the collected works of Mohsin Hamid, my (new) favorite author currently writing.
Stage One: Discovery
Hmmm, this name seems familiar. Why does this name seem familiar? Did I read this author for a class? Do they write under a different name sometimes? Was there a movie made of one of their books? None of these titles rings a bell.
Stage Two: Disbelief
Wait, we own five copies of this book? I work in a library, and I’ve literally never heard of this book before this moment. How do we own five copies of a book I’ve never heard of?
Stage Three: Snobbery
Well, if this book were any good, I’d have heard of it.
Stage Four: Action
Stop being a snob, self, and just check out the dang book.
Stage Five: Disbelief, Part Two
This book can’t be as good as I think it is, can it?
There’s no way it can be this good; it’s going to let me down. There’s going to be a third-act twist that completely undermines the basic premises of the plot. The tense will switch mid-sentence for no reason. A fifteen-year-old character will inexplicably speak like a tenured philosophy professor. There will be a dog in the book, and the dog will die. The author will say the female protagonist is “not like other girls,” and this will be considered a good thing rather than a sign of internalized misogyny that the character will work to overcome over the course of the narrative.
Stage Six: Grudging Acceptance
Okay, fine, maybe it’s that good.
Stage Seven: Delighted Acceptance
Oh my God! It’s actually that good!
Stage Eight: Discovery, Part Two
Gaaaah, look how many books this author has written! And they’re all available! And there are audiobook versions, too!
Stage Nine: Evangelism
Well, I’m glad that I could check them out right away when I wanted to, but these should not have all been available. They deserve massive holds lists. Obviously, I need to tell everyone about these books. I have to text my mom right now - oh, I need to call my aunt, too, her book club is planning next year’s selections – oh, and I know someone who could totally work this author into their thesis! And I have to write some blurbs for Bibliocommons! And GoodReads! And I should probably set them all as Staff Picks!
Stage Ten: Fury
Wait, why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this author? Everyone I know is dead to me.
Stage Eleven: Fury (Continued)
What do you mean, I’ve read them all?
-Meredith Wiggins is a Readers’ Services Assistant at the Lawrence Public Library.