Jane Austen Made Me Do It

What I’m reading

Jane Austen Made Me Do ItI have a rather embarrassing admission to make about my simple desire to read this book and by revealing it, I will give you a glimpse into the bizarre web of impulses and guilt that is my mind. I certainly hope that after reading my admission, you will forgive me for being a fool.

I had received an invitation via facebook from Laurel Ann Nattress to attend the book signing for her anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, during the 2011 JASNA AGM. I was looking forward to buying the book and having it signed, and maybe engaging in some polite conversation with the editor.

Apparently, however, I had overlooked that there would be several authors at the Barnes & Noble store in Sundance Square, all signing their books, including Carrie Bebris (The Deception at Lyme) and Janet Mullany (Blood Persuasion). But I had planned to buy one book, not three. I’ve read and enjoyed other books by these authors — North by Northanger and Jane and the Damned — but my purse could not withstand any more demands upon its meagre resources. The cost of the convention had already eaten into my plans to buy Adobe Creative Suite 5.5.

But rather than face my dilemma as an adult and buy just the single book I had planned, I bought none. In fact, I fled from the scene. I couldn’t stand the thought of buying just the one book, thinking it would be ungracious not to buy all three. I had certainly planned on reading the latest Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery and Jane as vampire story, but in the fullness of time.

So I denied myself of meeting these three authors and enjoying their company because of my conflicting motivations of cheapness (I could have bought all three), guilt (I could have bought the one) and desire for comfort (I could have mailed home all three).

I have, however, bought Ms. Nattress’ book at my own dear Tattered Cover in Denver and will enjoy the stories it contains, but the title page will remain blank because I am a fool. And the bitter irony is that though I may have felt some guilt in only buying the one book, it is as nothing compared to the disgust I feel towards myself in not buying any book and meeting authors whose work I admire.

PS I was further chastened when Carrie Bebris generously gave copies of her book The Matters at Mansfield to all the attendees of her talk at the AGM.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: