Mar 2014 4

I hope these will be the right books at the right time!

I picked up these two books at the BookCrossing Birmingham meetup yesterday. We both want to read the Junot Diaz book, so that will accompany us on a short break next month. The Jennifer Chiaverini is the 16th in a series of which I’m up to Number 10, so I’m going to put it on my small pile of “books where I need to read another one in the series first” and then it will be the right time for that one.

I took a few print copies of my book, “Going it Alone at 40” to the meetup because there’s a slight printing error in them which means I’m unwilling to sell them (all of the content is there, and the book is print-on-demand and I’ve updated the file, so this won’t happen again) and one person there was about to leave his job, so that was definitely the right book at the right time for him.

But … I picked up a book to read that I bought in August 2013. It looked right up my street, small-town America setting, etc. I started to read and enjoy it. I read it on the way to the meetup, and I was looking forward to getting to know the characters and enjoy the story. Then the central character was diagnosed with a health condition that a [friend or family member] is battling at the moment. No details for privacy’s sake, they should be OK, but it’s not something I want to be reading about right now, especially as I flicked to the end and the outcome for the character in the book is NOT good. Hm.

Now, you could say that this is a case of confirmation bias, like when you get a new car and everyone in the world suddenly has that make and model and colour of car, or whenever you hear about a new thing, you immediately read about it in the Saturday papers, or everyone seems to be getting their hair cut on the same day. I genuinely don’t recall a central character in a book I’ve read, at least in the last few years, suffering from that exact health condition. Weird.

And, very much, the right book at the wrong time, so I have had to set it aside.

It’s great when the right book hits you at just the right time, and we’ve all experienced that. There are many books that are the wrong book at a good reading time or at the worst time possible (let’s not go into the animal upset things in books, please!) Have you had the right book at the wrong time, though: a book you’d normally enjoy but oh dear me no: this is NOT the time to be reading it?