Yesterday I went shopping with my daughter and mother. One of the stops we made was to our local Goodwill. I think most people have a love it or hate it relationship with Goodwill, but this post isn’t about that, so I digress.
As my little girl was going through all of the stuffed animals in the toy section, my attention was drawn to the large selection of books nearby. Three short isles of old, tattered books stared longingly at me. Compelling me to walk over and brush my hands along their spines.
I will admit that for reasons unknown, I felt sad. From children’s books to romance. Sci-fi to self-help. These neglected books were just sitting there. Used, battered, and for some of them – even abused. They called to me, begging to be picked up and held by loving hands. They yearned to have someone’s eyes read through their torn and yellowed pages once again. They craved to give enjoyment to the reader it had been created for.
My thoughts turned to the authors that had created these books. How many countless hours had been spent writing each and every word? How much of this person’s heart and soul had been given to each of these unwanted books that now lie forgotten on these shelves? When they were in the middle of their second draft, or fighting through their tenth rejection did they think about the future of these novels? Did they wonder what would happen when their readers grew tired and bored of the words they painstakingly wrote on each and every numbered page?
How do authors feel walking through their favorite book store, only to see that their masterpiece is the current clearance item simply because the stores just can’t seem to sell them quick enough? Is it a small stab to the heart? Or does the pride that comes with being published make up for the fact that, sometimes, even being published doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the next best-seller?
I’d like to think that all writers do it because they love to write, not because they had dreams of being the next J.K. Rowling; but I can’t imagine that it would make them beam with pride if they were to see their book abandoned in their local Goodwill. Or maybe it does. Having never been published, I wouldn’t know; but I’d like to think that if I were to find my book sitting on these shelves, I’d be happy to know that they at least served a purpose. Even if for a limited time. Now, it has a chance to be discovered by someone else and the enjoyment can begin anew.
What about you? Are you a like-minded aspiring author such as myself? Or have you already been published?
How would you feel if you spotted your own book in here?