I had a less than stellar day last week, one that included bad surprises both North and South of 49. I consoled myself with the fact that if I could just hang in there until after dinner things would improve. After all, it isn't often that I get to hear an author speak whose book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
Somehow our local library had managed to get Emma Donoghue to come give a talk about her latest book Room, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I had listened to an interview with this author on CBC radio some months earlier and here's the thing. She might live in Canada, but she is originally from Ireland. This means she comes complete with an Irish accent, and to tell you the truth she could have been giving a talk about how to program a DVR and I would have signed up just so I could listen to her.
Her book is extremely popular and has a huge hold line ahead of me for library copies. I knew there was no possible way a copy would become available before the scheduled talk, but I also knew I would get more out of her talk if I had actually read the book. Still, for several reasons, I was hesitant to buy a copy. This book is just not the kind of thing I normally read. Plus it is only out in hardcover so is pricey. And if you remember from an earlier blog post I am on a minimalizing program. This meant that if I bought the book I had to get rid of three other books in my collection.
Of course, I caved and ordered the book online. In the end what tipped the scales in favour of buying it was the fact that I could get it signed by Emma Donoghue. What bibliophile doesn't love a signed copy of a book? However, in order to meet the minimum amount required to get free shipping I had to also order another book, which meant I was now out six books under my minimalizing plan and $45 (okay, I didn't need to spend that much to get free shipping, but the other book I had in my wish list was also pricey). By the way, this process of spending money in order to save money actually has a name. It is called spaving. Really. If you don't believe me check out the Urban Dictionary.
The book came just a few days before the scheduled talk, so I put aside all my other reading material, left my knitting needles untouched, and spent the weekend reading. Honestly, I have to say that if I wasn't going to hear the author, and if I hadn't by now invested quite heavily in this book I probably would not have finished it. The subject matter was darker than I usually delve into, but I persevered. Sunday afternoon I breathed a sigh of relief when I turned to the final page. Now I was prepared for the talk.
So while I was in the midst of one of the unpleasant events of that day the phone rang. It was the library. They wanted to let me know that due to the winter storms in Ontario Emma Donoghue's plane had not been able to take off and the talk was canceled. And I had thought the day couldn't get any worse. All I could think of as I hung up the phone was, "But I bought the book..."
Since "it's an ill wind that blows no good" I have decided to give the book away to a lucky reader of this blog. Please don't be frightened off by my comments about the book. It is not a bad book. In fact, it is very well-written. The problem is I am the wrong reader for the book. It needs a new home.
If you would like a chance at winning what is quite possibly the most expensive unautographed copy of Emma Donoghue's book Room in existence all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you link to this post on your blog I will enter your name an extra time. If you become a follower of this blog that will earn you an extra entry as well. Just be sure to leave your email address within your comment so I have a way of getting in touch with you should you end up being the winner. Also, if you put a link in your blog or you become a follower please indicate that in your comment as well. I am willing to send this book anywhere in the world that Canada Post delivers. After all, as long as I'm spaving, I might as well spave big. The contest ends at midnight February 13th, and the winner will be announced February 14th. Bonne chance!