As a growing Gryffindor, I’m getting braver at things like speaking up, asking questions, and striking up conversations with random people.
But I still get star-struck around my literary heroes.
It’s an intimate thing, reading a book, and the closeness I feel with a text is inevitably tied to its author.
Let’s put it this way. If I love a book, it’s because the author indirectly seduced me with his or her words. The author’s creation brews in my head and weaves into my imagination. It is the closest thing to magic that I have experienced. Maybe I worry that meeting that world-creator will shatter the illusion.
This weekend, I met Gabrielle Zevin. Despite Elsewhere being one of my favorite books. As she spoke to the room, I got so excited by everything she said. I was bursting to say “I would love you even if I didn’t already love you!”. Which is quite overt for this little INTJ. So I didn’t say that. But I found myself getting really nervous in line to get my book signed.
Usually, I avoid the signing. I slip away, happy to retreat to the world we had built together, sort of. What is so special about a name scribbled inside a book? It just makes me less likely to lend the book out, which is a pity.
But I think it was the themes of this event that changed my mind for the day. Discussion about the community of reading and bookstores made me want to actually get that book signed and point out that we have similar taste in shoes.
Nonetheless, I’m glad that I can avoid these decisions with Jane Austen.
I wonder… am I alone in this madness, or do authors give you the jitters too?