I get a lot of notes from kids and teens that go something like, "I love this book so much, I've read it XX times."
And I'm always like, wow. That's a LOT. I mean, to me, anything over three times is a lot. I rarely re-read books, so I'm easily impressed, I think.
For the middle grade set, they often say this about IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES.
For the Young Adult crowd, the book that gets that kind of comment the most is CHASING BROOKLYN.
I'll usually respond with a thank you note, and say how glad I am that she's enjoyed the book. And I go on to tell her I do have other books, if she might be interested?
But it's kind of a strange thing - sometimes I don't think she really is interested. Because there will never be another book like THIS book. And I realize, of course she is right. A favorite book is a special thing. They probably do read other things, but for whatever reason, they return to their favorite books again and again.
We never know what might happen with a book when we're in the middle of creating it. Some end up being semi-hits, some are misses, and very rarely, they are hits far and wide. Once we release it, we hope the book finds someone (maybe a lot of someones) who likes and appreciates it. Every time I get a note from a reader telling me a book is a favorite, that she has chosen to spend countless hours emerged in the pages, I smile. No matter what else I do in my life, I am honored to have done that.
Sometimes I think about these books and what it is about them that makes readers feel this way about them. I think it's probably not one thing, but a lot of things rolled up together. It would be great if we could find the magic formula. But each book is unique and different and you just never know... With every book we read, we begin anew, to decide where this particular book falls on the list of favorites. Or least favorites, as the case may be.
After all, what fun would it be, really, if it was all predetermined, and we didn't have to do that? It's the beauty of reading - beginning each book and letting it take you on an unknown journey. The possibilities are endless - and I love that!