An end, and a beginning
I received my first copy of Touchstone yesterday, and I have to say, itâ€™s going to be a sad day when book go electronic. I wonâ€™t mind academia being crammed into the brains of an e-reader, thus saving the spines of generations of schoolkids, but the tactile pleasure of a new book is a joy no i-device can duplicate. The sleek black cover, inviting a caressâ€”two caresses, the second to wipe away the fingerprints the first touch left. The heft of the thing, heavy with promise where an e-book of a thousand pages has the same solidity as one with a hundred. The flirtation with its contents, opening its covers and seeing the words skip past, back and forth, tantalizing. Closing it and laying it down with a sense of its authority, its reality.
When my author copies come, in a shipping box that holds sixteen or twenty, the book is transformed into a commodity, but for the moment, itâ€™s a treasure.
It came with a note from my editor saying, :Congratulations, itâ€™s a book.
And it came on the day I turned on my laptop and wrote the first 2,493 words of the ninth Mary Russell book, a book with the working title of The Language of Bees.