That’s what yesterday was.
Early in the day I discovered some awesome “reading” news – Berke Breathed is coming back into our lives with “Bloom County 2015.” The delivery system isn’t clear yet (A cartoon solely available through Facebook? Sounds about right for a modern Milo incarnation). But however we get it, the return of the biting and left-wing social satire of Opus, Bill, Milo, Steve, and company can only be a good thing. Especially with the looming presidential campaign. I own every Bloom County collection ever sold, and will shortly be re-reading from the beginning, in preparation.
And then, there was the ominous news suddenly issuing forth about what had promised to be the literary event of the century (and in my mind, that wasn’t hyperbole). The release TODAY of Harper Lee’s second (first?) novel, “Go Set a Watchman.”
Months ago, when this follow-up was announced, I pre-ordered the book so that it would arrive at my door today. Not unlike all those years when we waited breathlessly at the front window for the Fed Ex guy to deliver multiple copies of the latest Harry Potter into our waiting hands. Even better, because “Watchman” would be a once-in-a-lifetime event.
I tend to ignore reviews and previews of books and movies that are important to me. I prefer to form my own opinion. But what I’m hearing – even from NPR, for Pete’s sake – is shattering.
Not about the quality of “Watchman.” I can live with and even learn to love a raw, unedited novel.
But a novel that makes me question my intense love of “Mockingbird?” A novel that potentially destroys the characters who have become a part of my very being?
If there is even the tiniest chance that “To Kill a Mockingbird” will be lessened in my heart, I can’t risk reading its follow-up. I know this sounds melodramatic, but it would be like uncovering a family secret that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of one’s existence. And believe me, I know what that feels like in real life. I don’t want to experience it in my book life, which I hold so very dear.
So. What to do?
To my fellow bibliophiles…
What will you do?