Timing is everything!

Like with so many things in life whether we fall in love with a book can have a lot to do with timing. A book can have a killer plot, some truly kick-ass characters and world building that could blow your mind but if you’re not in the right mood or you don’t have the time to commit to it, or it’s maybe just too similar to something you read recently then you’re not going to be able to really get excited about it. Sometimes however, the literary stars align perfectly. You’re in exactly the right place, at the right time and in the right frame of mind to fall head over heels in love with a book. And I was very very lucky to have that happen to me not once, but twice recently. And with back to back books too!

I had heard soooo much about Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on the blogs. For a time it seemed like I was the only blogger/reader on the planet who hadn’t yet read it but strangely despite all the glowing reviews, I was never able to get that excited about it. I wanted to read it at some point but I wasn’t overly fussed about when that would be. But then one day a couple of weeks ago I was in my happy place, Waterstones bookshop, with a friend and I had literally just told myself I shouldn’t buy any more books until I had finished the ones I already had, when I turned round and there it was. If there had been any windows in that section of the store the light would have been shining in straight onto the shelf it sat on with it’s lovely ‘buy one, get one half price’ sticker on it. Suddenly I just knew I had to have it. My new book excitement was off the charts, I had ‘must buy’ grabby hands and before I knew what was happening I was frantically searching the shelves for a companion special offer book.

And I am beyond glad that it was there when I turned round that day because it turned out to be one of my very favourite reads so far of 2014! There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe just how much I LOVE this book so I’ll have to resort to over capitalisation and exclamation marks!! Fangirl, for those of you who don’t know, is the story of Cath, who has just started college with her twin sister, Wren but while her sister is embracing the whole college experience (sometimes maybe a little too much!), Cath is struggling to come out from behind her laptop where she’s immersed in the world of fan fiction.

Like I said in my last post, while I can’t relate to everything she’s gone through, like her troubled family background, the anxiety of starting college and struggling to fit in was definitely something I could sympathise with. Getting lost in writing or the amazing world of books as a coping mechanism was obviously something I could relate to as well! Rainbow Rowell created such a real, sympathetic and funny portrayal of a young girl struggling to move on with her life and the characters that she met along the way were amazing. I’ve said this before about male characters but I LOVE Levi!! He is exactly the kind of guy that an obsessive neurotic fan of escapism like Cath and myself need, and I really want one of my own! He was perfect!

This book completely drew me in and cheered up every day that I got to read it. When it came time to turn that last page I really felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend and I was really upset that I had to do it. It was a lovely, warm-hearted and easy to relate to story, and it came along at the perfect time for me. I needed a book like this. I needed THIS book and I want to thank all you lovely bloggers who brought it to my attention because I may never have found it otherwise, and would’ve missed out on a wonderful reading journey!

The other book that timing helped me fall in love with was The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I started to read this one immediately after Fangirl so I was still suffering withdrawal symptoms. All I really wanted to be reading was Fangirl so any book would’ve found it difficult to keep my interest at that point but this one in particular, I had a real struggle with.

I knew it would be an unusual read, after all the tagline describes it as MI5 for wizards and the plot starts with a woman waking up in a park, with no memory, surrounded by dead  bodies wearing latex gloves, and a note in her pocket which starts ‘Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine…’ Surprisingly though, given all that, I still don’t think I realised just how weird this would be. I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘What is this ****???’ quite so many times when starting a book. I wanted to give up with it, I really did but even though I had a few books left to read, I knew that my head wasn’t in the right place to do them justice, and new books I’d ordered hadn’t arrived yet. I could either go bookless (hell no!) or force myself to keep reading which is what I did. Thank God I did too! Yes it was quite possibly the weirdest book I’ve read in a long time but it turned out also to be really good! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and there were a few times that I got funny looks in the train from laughing out loud!

So thank you to the literary stars because you’ve provided me with just the right books at the right time. They were two very different reads, neither of them were my usual kind of read but they helped me with my new year’s resolutions to read more widely, and they were exactly the books I needed right now!

What about  you? Has timing ever helped you fall in love with a book or give up with one?

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15 thoughts on “Timing is everything!

  1. This is exactly how I felt about Rowell’s Eleanor & Park–I kept hearing about it and HEARING about it and I figured that there was no way it would ever live up to the hype. I finally broke down and got it from the library–and it was one of the best books I read last year. I then read Fangirl, which I also really enjoyed. You’re right-sometimes the stars align and the timing is perfect!

  2. I used to feel this way about the Tales of the City series, I couldn’t wait to read the, and they, quite simply, made me happy! Isn’t that the best a book can do? After my twins were born, I was reading Roberto Bolanos 2666. Bad timing. It was a fabulous book but I would just be getting really into it when someone would need a nappy change or feed. Come to think of it, reading any book right after you’ve had twins is probably pretty bad timing!

    • The best books are definitely the ones that make you happy! Sometimes it really is a case of right time, right place with a book. Though yeah, I can definitely imagine that trying to read anything right after twins could be a tad tricky!

  3. Oh yes, I’m a mood reader too 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Fangirl. I did too, though probably not as much as you did. Haha. The Rook!!! I’ve listened to that one on audiobook and absolutely LOVED it. It was hilarious and yes weird but in the best way possible. Ahhh, when is the sequel coming?? When? #aweebitimpatient
    Great post!

    • Thanks! Yes, I’m definitely a fangirl about Fangirl! 🙂 I didn’t know there was a sequel to The Rook!! That’s great news! I’d love to know what’s happening with Rook Thomas!

  4. Yes, I’ve had this a couple of times before. I’m a mood reader, so sometimes I pick up a book and it’s just not the right book at that moment 🙂 So there are some books I returned to later – I even have some waiting for the right time 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve got a few sitting there where I just know it’s not the right time to be reading them so I’ll wait! I’ve got to get better at going back to books when I’m in a better mood for them though. I usually forget I have them! 🙂

  5. I’m so glad you enjoyed Fangirl and The Rook! I loved them both. 🙂 Timing really is everything! For me, it’s less important in terms of falling in love with a book, but very important in terms of just not getting into something. There have been several books I’ve read in the past year that, objectively speaking, were probably quite good… but for whatever reason, they didn’t suit my mood at the time that I read them and so I just didn’t like them very much. Lately, I’ve gotten better at putting a book down if I realize my mood and the book aren’t in sync, and just try to come back to it when the timing seems better.

    • It’s definitely something I’m working on too. I have 3 books in particular that have been on my shelves for a while now but I just know that I’m not in the right head space to appreciate them so I’m going to wait until the mood strikes! 🙂

  6. Timing is definitely important. For super serious books, I have to be in the right head-space for them, otherwise I feel like reading the heavier-subject tomes becomes more of a chore than enjoyment.

    • Definitely. If I’m not in the right frame of mind for a serious book then I just know I won’t give it the attention it deserves and might end up giving up with a book I would’ve enjoyed at a different time.

  7. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons I love being a blogger/reader | Confessions of a Book Ninja

  8. I can relate. After trying to read three different books that were on my list, and not being able to continue, I was frustrated. Thanks for giving me “permission” to try them later. You are right, sometimes it’s just not the right time for a book, but when you get one that clicks, it’s wonderful.

    • It’s something I’ve fallen victim to a lot in the past. I’m sure there are books I’ve discarded that if I’d just waited until I was in the right mood I would’ve actually enjoyed. Of course, the real problem is when you don’t know what you’re in the mood for!

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