Last Friday, I sailed breathlessly into my nearest Barnes and Noble to purchase J.K. Rowling’s newest book, The Casual Vacancy. I had been waiting for this moment for months and eagerly anticipated shelves lined with books, but found nothing. I asked a friendly clerk, where is J.K. Rowling’s latest book? Didn’t it come in yesterday? He told me that 350 books came in yesterday and they were all sold. But he added, we expect another shipment in a few days, and would I like to put my name on one. Sure great, I would certainly put my name on one.
Saturday morning a notice popped up on my email stating that my order had arrived. Needless to sa,y the first thing I did that day was drive to Barnes and Noble. I walked up to the counter, and the lady behind the counter found the book with my name on it. I happily bought the book, tucked the bag securely under my arm, and left the store. In the car I hastily pulled the book out of the bag and had my first real look at the book. The cover was yellow and red, with a big black check mark slashed across a small square in the center. J.K. Rowling’s name was at the top of the box, and under the box was the name of the book, A Casual Vacancy. What a strange cover I thought, I was only familial with the Harry Potter books. I had read all of them. This cover looked like non of those covers. But then, this is her first adult book. It has to look different.
I gingerly opened the cover of the book. I leafed through the book. The pages were pristine and crisp, untouched by human hands. I could not wait to get home to begin reading it. And that is exactly what I did, just as I had done with the Harry Potter books. This book opened with a zinger and kept me hooked. It’s different from the Harry Potter series, but her characters are alive and real, and jump off the pages. I was immediately transported to the village of Pagford, England, and involved with the people living there.
Today, Thursday morning, I checked the USA Today, Bestselling Book List. Guess what? The Casual Vacancy is number one. It bumped Fifty Shades of Grey to number two. Yah! The publisher Little Brown reported in an article next to the bestselling list, that Rowling’s novel sold 375,000 copies in all formats its first six days on sale. The hardcover out sold the e-book. I am validated. I am not the only person in love with this author, who I still picture sitting in a cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland, writing about Harry Potter and Voldemort on a napkin.