You know you’re doing the right thing with your life, it occurred to me recently, when traveling six hours one-way for the sake of two hours in a bookstore seems like time well-spent. I arrive back in Port Authority after spending twelve of the previous thirty-six hours in a violently rattling bus that was last cleaned during the Clinton administration, and if you asked me to get back on board for another six hours, for another reading at another bookstore somewhere distant, I wouldn’t hesitate.
Because it does feel like magic sometimes, and I know how wide-eyed and naïve I sound when I say that. When you vividly remember a time when your book was a Word document on your hard drive that no one else had ever read, having a complete stranger come up to you to discuss the plot of said book is both wonderful and disorienting.
I wonder sometimes if that disorientation ever wears off. I think it’s likely that it eventually does, although I can’t imagine that being asked to read my work at a bookstore will ever seem like less of an honour than it does now.