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The Deep Dive

An Incomplete List of the Best Things That Can Happen to a Reader

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Jeff O'Neal

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Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

As of this moment, my daughter is on the longest reading bender of her young life. She picked up the Percy Jackson series about a week ago, burned through that, and now is on to the Heroes of Olympus part of the saga (is it a saga? I don’t know. She talks to me about it and I try to follow, but she is learning that relaying the complex web of relationships and beat-by-beat plot recaps are not the stuff of riveting conversation).

And I said to her, on one of several of our “must-immediately-get-the-next-book” missions to the bookstore, that what she is doing right now just might be my favorite reading experience. To be in the middle of a series, a good long one, that you love and that you still have a lot to get through. That feeling of urgent abundance where it seems like you are going to be in this story with these characters forever and that the real world seems just a little dimmer than usual and the page a little brighter. 

This got me thinking about what are the other best things that can happen to you as a reader. Being mid-gulp in wolfing down a series is clearly number one for me, but the rest of these aint bad either. 

There’s a New book by a Favorite Author

This is even better if a) it’s been awhile since their last book and/or b) you might have even stopped thinking/remembering that there ever could be a new one. Which is related to….

You Pre-Ordered a Book, Forgot About It (Or At Least When It Was Coming Out), and It Shows Up on Your Doorstep

This is as close as adults can get to that feeling kids who still believe in Santa must feel. That the world is magical, cares about what you want, and unlike most things, makes good on it. 

Someone Actually Read a Book You Recommended, Read It, Loved It, and Now Wants to Talk About It

I am never going to be an actor, musician, comedian, juggler, athlete or other kind of performer who will be on stage, giving it their all in the hopes that the audience will love it and then, even before the final bend at the waist, the audience rips out of their seat to thunderous applause. 

This is nothing to having someone say “Oh my god I loved that book you recommended! the part where….” 

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