Jasper Fforde is an author I discovered because of a friend’s recommendation. One of the more literate of fiction writers, he is clever and funny, but also difficult to find in many bookstores. (Believe it or not, some of us prefer to shop in actual bookstores.) I tend to pick his books up when I find them, whether used or new, and wait until I have time to indulge in a good book. Well, I seldom have time to indulge, so I decided to go ahead and read Lost in a Good Book. Now, this involves some mental gymnastics on my part. Part of Fforde’s Thursday Next series, this is actually the second book after The Eyre Affair—not his first book that I read, but the first of this series I had.
I tend to find used copies of Fforde in certain used bookstores, and so my collection has grown through the years. I’ve read four of the first seven novels in this series, but in this order: one, seven, six, and two. Each is understandable on its own, but it occurs to me after finishing the second in the series that things might make better sense if read in order. The good news is that the next one I have to find should fall in order after this one. Unless it’s one of the others. That’s the nature of finding things in secondhand stores. It’s not that I object to buying books new—do you even know me at all?—but that I have some authors that I can find in used stores from time to time and I read them when I do. Fforde is one of them.
How I find the books probably impacts how I engage with them. Perhaps because they’re funny I don’t consider the implications too seriously if things don’t always make sense. I can see myself, if I ever get more time, coming back to the series. Then I’ll do so in order. The real pity is that I don’t have time to read all the books by authors I enjoy. Nor all the money. Libraries in small towns tend to have collections that reflect local tastes, and besides, I like to come back to my books at my own time, without having to wait for inter-library loan and somebody else finishing it up before I can get ahold of it. All of which is to say I enjoyed Lost in a Good Book very much. Thursday Next is a compelling character, and it’s always a pleasure to read an author who, like you, clearly reads a lot of classics.