When you’re reading the second book an author writes featuring the same characters, there is some trepidation. Life movie sequels, you wonder if it will be better or worse. You wonder if the magic of the first one can be duplicated. Maybe the first one was a case of catching lightning in a bottle. Maybe it can’t be duplicated.
I have examples of disappointment. I remember when they brought back WKRP, only for it to be a pale shadow of its former self. I remember when my hockey hero Doug Gilmour was traded back to my team, only to have him finish his career five minutes later, probably not having touched the puck.
For the many people who are reading the Saga of Fire and Ice, there fate is kind of similar. They are hoping that it gets written in the author’s lifetime, and not be left to the less experienced hand of another. I can only hope this is true.
Things are different when you are reading the nineteenth book to feature the same character, written by the same author, and the previous eighteen books did not let you down in any way. For those moments, the anticipation is palpable. For those moments, you are fully committed. For those moments, the cracking of the spine is like a starter’s gun going off.
At the same time, slipping into characters you’ve come to know well, is like slipping into your favourite pair of shoes. It’s so comfortable you don’t even notice. Before you’ve even realized it, you’ve relived everything you’ve ever read, you’ve transported yourself out of your mundane world to a place you seem to know so much better.
This morning, during my commute, immediately after I put the crossword out of its predictable misery, with the day clearly begun, I cracked the spine on the latest Rebus novel. I love reading, and when you can begin an adventure with a character you love again, you know why you love reading. It might be redundant to say it now, but that was today’s perfect moment.