I've heard from several readers that they've seen my book, Monarch, at their library. I have no idea how the book ended up at their library - if it was donated, or requested, or what, but what a great feeling! Still, I've never seen this phenomenon with my own eyes. I'm with a small publisher, so although my books are readily available to bookstores and libraries, they will not end up on those shelves in droves. More like a slow trickle.
So a few months ago, I donated a copy of Monarch to my local library. I kept checking their database to see if the book was on their shelves yet, but it wasn't. It just said processing. Months and months went by and I forgot about it and stopped checking. Finally, yesterday, I went to the library with my daughter. We go often to get her books, and I occasionally check one out. Yesterday, I remembered Monarch and checked the database. Available. Sweet! I went downstairs to the Teen and General Fiction section and searched the "A" section for my book, and I found it, and my daughter smiled and whispered, "Mom, it's YOUR BOOK" and I whispered back, "OH MY GOSH, I KNOW."
I know this sounds weird, but it was a really great feeling to see the top of my book stamped with the library's name. The cover was protected with the laminate-type covering. There were barcodes on it, and numbers, and the little chip they put on the back cover to easily check it out. I don't know. I just stood there and held my book and soaked it in. Not that it was checked out, but I hope it gets checked out sometime. My mom donated a copy of Monarch to her local library where I grew up, and she said every time she goes in, it's checked out. I've even had someone tell me they checked it out there and read it and loved it.
I guess my point today is that as writers, the little things matter. The little moments. And let me tell you, most of those moments for me have come about because of my own doing. For me, things haven't just happened out of thin air, and I don't think they do for most people. I know when I self-published my novella, Cinders, I felt kind of cheated that I did everything myself (even though that's exactly what I wanted). But I wanted to start somewhere like that, somewhere slow for me, and in control. Things are still slow as I take things one step at a time. There's nothing wrong with going slow. It's fun to think about things spinning around you, happening in a whirlwind, carrying you up to the top, lifting you up at every moment as all your dreams come true. But I think I'd take that moment in the library over all of that. Any day.
Do you have any favorite moments in your writing career? Or if you're a reader, do you have favorite moments of seeing a long-awaited book somewhere?