There is a person I know who has something I want. Desperately. More than I've wanted anything in a long, long time. It is a book. So go out and get it. It hasn't been published yet. So request the ARC. It's actually a bound manuscript - of a book highly anticipated. It is written by this guy, you may have heard of him, named John Green.
I have a friend who was recently blessed with a bound manuscript of The Fault in Our Stars. She called to tell me because she was obviously excited (understatement of the year), but she is unable to share it with me because she was required to sign an affidavit specifically saying she would be the only person to read it.
So I got mad.
How could she really call and tell me this only to say I couldn't read it? Why didn't she just keep it to herself? I mean, she hasn't even read a fricken John Green book before. How can she call herself a fan? I'm the one always telling her to read his books. How dare they send her a copy? How dare she rub it in my face? Did they really require a signature?! How are they gonna know? That is ridiculous...
This of course was the conversation I had with myself in my head. Only crazy people talk like that... you know, out loud... This person is a dear friend. And although I am extremely jealous of her (!!!), I am also glad she is finally taking my advice and reading a John Green book. Even if I'm kinda mad...
So anyway, this whole situation got me thinking: are we as book bloggers spoiled?
Being a book blogger is amazing. People send us books, often without a guaranteed review, for free. We get to read things months before the general public. We get bookmarks and posters and stickers and temporary tattoos. Authors talk to us, appreciate us, sometimes befriend us. These things make us a part of an exclusive group, and all because we're basically a bunch of nerds who read way more than the average person and enjoy spitting out thoughtful, well-written reviews for free.
It's easy to get spoiled. It's easy to get jealous. But it's kind of like your mom always told you: there will always be someone who has something you want and can't have. But when it comes to books, you CAN have it. Maybe not today or next week, but eventually that book will be released for everyone to read. And with awesome posts like this one by Beth Revis or that one by Michelle Hodkin, you can see that waiting for the finished copy isn't a bad thing. ARCs are advanced uncorrected proofs, printed long before the finished copies. Long enough for changes to be made - and not just typos! Changes to the actual content can and do occur. Scenes change; endings are altered. The wait for January might seem like a long one, but I want my copy of The Fault in Our Stars to be the one John Green meant for me to read.
Jealousy can be described as feelings of insecurity, fear, and/or anxiety over the potential loss of something valuable. But when it comes to books, what do any of us really have to lose? There are so many books out there already published - more books than any of us could ever read in a lifetime - and there are more books being released everyday. With such a vast amount of literature available to us, it seems silly to be jealous over just one book. Even if it is the new John Green.