Friday, August 14, 2009

A Novel's Migration

I was prepared to post today about The Time Traveler's Wife-the brilliant interview I found with its screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (despite the horrific editing) or the yummy review, not from a media fat cat or random blogger but from a quantum physicist's perspective-but I had to stop myself. I've gagged Vortex readers with enough time travel this week to make even H.G. Wells mount a caustic protest from his elsewhere dimension.

Two completely ordinary events shaped today's idea, one being that I acquired a dollar bill from the return desk at a discount mega-store and two being that I stayed up until 2 am to finish reading a novel. The dollar bill was one of the chosen Where's George? variety. Surely you've heard of this-a website that tracks George Washington's serial numbers and offers those who acquire said bill to see the route by which it has traveled through our economic byways. The book was quite simply the most fabulous I've read all year and the perfect match to the end-of-summer heat and craziness we are all feeling. Am I right?

So what would happen if we married these two completely ordinary events into one ultra-extraordinary literary experiment? Probably been done before, but I've never heard of it.

What if I sent the book out into the world the Where's George? way with merely a handwritten line on its inner hard-backed shell. A comment of adoration, perhaps, or a part that resonated so deeply I will be eternally grateful for the lessons its author taught me. Or maybe, merely a mention of where it had landed to remind readers who turn the pages after me of our connection to each other and the universality of our human experience no matter where we live. And what if I passed it along to the next reader and he wrote something, and the person he passed it to, something as well, until there was a chronicle of readers who'd all shared the same story. Books aren't meant to languish on some IKEA shelf. They are meant to be shared. So share we will.

Here's how it will work: Leave a comment, or many, in this post from now until midnight Sunday. At that time, I will select someone to pass along the novel to. Before it leaves my hands, I will mark the date, my location and something about the book. The recipient will read it and do the same. Select from your blog readers. Pass along to a relative. Leave it in a doctor's office with a note that it's free-take it and join in the story's migration. Always, readers will be able to return here and let us know where it has been. It may journey far; it may be handed over a backyard fence. The important thing is to keep it moving.

It's not a genre book. It's not non-fiction. And no time travel anywhere. I know, right? It's merely a great work of fiction that has something for everyone. Monday, I'll reveal the book and send it on its way. I hope Vortex followers are as excited about the possibilities as I am.

So comment away. Let us know what you're reading this weekend, how you'll spend these last, endless days of summer or the best book you've read all year. Share with us whatever you wish and we'll all meet back here on Monday.


the walking man said...

I am currently reading Writing in a Vortex and spending the end of summer wishing for a very long cold winter so my next door neighbors will have to move seeing as the gas company removed their meter 6 weeks ago.

laughingwolf said...

what a neat idea, lam :)

i'm reading the scholastic junior classics version of carroll's alice in wonderland [was left in lobby newspaper rack with a bunch of other giveaways]... very condensed at 159 pages ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh oh, if it's that good I want a chance at it. you know, there is a website that does this for books. I've forgotten the name. But you leave a book in a certain location, like a train station, and indicate on the web site where. Then if someone finds it, with a note about the site inside, they update the book's travelogue.

Michelle said...

2am!! Can't wait to find out what the book is. The last book that kept me up late, 1am, was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Have a great weekend!

Todd Wheeler said...

Just finished reading Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl, part of my summer reading goal of 5 books about/by cooks/chefs. And I stayed up until 1am-ish to finish it.

And don't want to hear about the end of any seasons at the moment [sticks fingers in ears and hums a merry tune].

Barbara Martin said...

My current read is "The Gargoyle" and I may be staying up til 2AM to read more, now that it's gotten interesting with the time travel into past lives together. Gee, maybe I'll be third time lucky, L.A.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@walkingman - That bad, are they? I'm just wishing for a cold Winter day to make me less grouchy from the heat.

@laughingwolf - sounds like a great find. I've actually never read Carroll's book. Doesn't the condensed version take away some of the druggy magic? ;)

@Charles - See, you burst my bubble that I might possibly have a unique idea, but I love the idea of the other so much, I forgive you for telling me. If you think of it, let me know. It sounds awesome.

@Michelle - Hey you {{hugs}}. I keep hearing about that book. Must have been great to keep you up, too. I'll pick it up next time I see it.

@Todd - why not? You have the most amazing scenery EVAH up there. Don't you look forward to Fall?

@Barbara - oohh.. you're just trying to suck up (twice!) Once with time travel, the other with reminding me how crazy lucky you are with my giveaways. Good luck!

Pamela Cayne said...

This weekend is a comic book weekend, and a very good one at that.

The last book to keep me up too late was "According to Jane" by the wonderful Marilyn Brant.

I'd list the best book for the year, but it's only August. I have pages to go before I sleep.

laughingwolf said...

yeah, but it includes carroll's olde englishe, too ;) lol

Katie Reus said...

It's too early on Monday for the post to be up but I'm curious about what the book is!