It's been harder than I thought to actually leave a book somewhere to be found. I've worried that it won't get picked up and will end up abandoned or chucked in a bin. So I've prevaricated and procrastinated whilst a voice has been shouting at me 'Just Do It!' So I have.
The first books to leave, to release into the wild, proved a problematic decision. The action of leaving them has become almost symbolic and so the books needed to be the right ones. In the end I realized I was over thinking it. The first books to release were 'The Girls' and 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (see The beginnings of a plan). The book that inspired the idea of 'Books in the Wild' and the book that struck such a chord that I greedily kept it rather than immediately sharing it.
I confess to being cowardly in my choice of location to leave the books, rather like allowing your children to walk home alone but trailing them a short distance behind, just to be on the safe side. I left the book somewhere a friendly eye could watch over it. Somewhere it could be kept safe if no one adopted it.
The bakery tends to be a busy gathering point, particularly on a sunny day. People sit outside luxuriating in the sun, enjoying coffee and croissants. Even on a wet day it's full of life despite it's tiny size, with people buying baguettes and doughnuts and staying for a chat to ward off the blues. It seemed a safe place to leave the first book.
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and that comes through when you read 'The Time Traveler's Wife'. I could see, hear and feel the events as if the story had got in to my very being. It sung to me on so many levels. I'm a sucker for a love story, I'd just had a baby, I was an artist who made and worked with paper and I couldn't work out how the story would resolve itself. I sat at at the end of my bed, intending to grab a 5 minute read before starting the day. The baby lay next to me and my daughter played at my feet and I was riveted, unable to move until I'd finished the book. I could feel Clare's emotions so clearly that I knew they'd affect me all day if I didn't let the story play out. And as much as I was desperate for the story to unwrap itself, the closer I got to the end of the book the sadder I felt that it would soon be finished.
I've discussed the book with several people since. My eldest daughter had a similar highly emotional reaction and, like me and a close friend, can't bring herself to watch the film. Other people hated it, or couldn't get into it and several left it unfinished. These extreme reactions to the book intrigue me and it is one of the reasons I 'released' it into the wild. I'm hoping that the book will be passed on, or left to be found, many, many times and that the new readers will come here and share their comments, good, bad or indifferent.