What you do when Holly Black’s The Queen of Nothing finally comes out and two weeks after the release date you, an impatient book-ish troll, still do not have it in your hands.
1. Keep checking the release date on Goodreads just to remind yourself that yes, the book has actually come out, and there are people in the world who now know what happened to the characters whose lives still hang in the balance for you. Stop yourself from reading the reviews—it’s not like they are going to stop you from loving this book.
2. Be insanely jealous of the one friend who is as obsessed with the series as you are and who finished the book the day it was released. Rewatch her Instagram story where she posted a couple pages from the book. Resist asking her to mail the book to you.
3. Overanalyze other fan’s reactions. Are they satisfied because the main romantic couple overcame their differences? Because a side character who everyone hates finally got what was coming to them? Because the author wrote such a devastating blindside that smacks you upside the face in the moment but actually makes logical sense when you reread it? Because they are masochists and love unhappy endings? Because their questions have been answered?
4. Avoid searching in the book hashtag on instagram. “The cool fanart and the memes are not worth the spoilers,” you say to yourself as you click off the “Explore” tab.
5. Place holds on every iteration of the book with every library card you own. Even though the library technically doesn’t even own the physical copy yet and you are 20 people behind in the online lending line, maybe the gods of fortune and desperation will smile on you and it’ll float down from heaven (or the internet) into your lap.
6. Go to Barnes and Noble and read the first chapter just to whet your appetite. Maybe it’ll be enough to make you spend the 20 dollars and actually buy the book. Actually stop at the end of the first chapter and leave the store so you won’t do that shady thing where you sit in the aisles and read the whole book.
7. Reconsider your aversion to buying books. Yes, you will probably only read it once, and yes, if you buy it it’ll just become another thing to lug around, but would that be so bad? Wouldn’t it be worth it in six months to have to weight it in your hands as you decide if it is worth packing up and taking out of your house so that right now, right now, you are able to read it? So you can know the ending to this series that has been hanging over your hand for the last two years? Couldn’t you give into the capitalistic need to stake ownership just this once?
8. Entertain the idea of rereading the first two books—again—to tide you over. Ignore the other stack of books that merely a week ago made you so excited about reading that you actually talked to the librarian behind the desk, who couldn’t have cared less that you got the new Avatar: The Last Airbender book.
9. Recheck your place in the hold line in the library. Wonder if you should just give into Amazon’s monopoly and get that sweet digital download.
10. Be thankful that libraries exist and you only have to pay taxes in order to read every new YA book that comes hot off the presses (thank you, educated white men in the 1700 and 1800s who decided that other white men should be able to extend their knowledge beyond private collections).
11. Check your library account again and realize that your book is in transit, which means it is one step away from being in your grubby hands. Decide to “get some fresh air” and “take a break” from lesson planning and head to the library to write your blog post, hoping against hope that the book gets there before the library closes for the next two days.
12. Let two hours go by.
13. Try not to get too excited as a library employee wanders in the direction of the holds shelf.
14. Accept the fact that you’ll just have to wait until next Wednesday to devour that 300-page beauty. Resist the urge to check out more books..
15. Comb through the holds shelf one last time. Meander through the stacks to find the (probably paltry) poetry section. Abscond with four more books and justify it because they aren’t YA and you’ll definitely have time to read them and won’t use them to avoid doing your difficult work that is your source of income.
16. Go home.
17. Get back to your life.
18. Scream in the parking lot three days later when your email notification reads “Your Hold Items are in.”
Alex Johnson (‘19) is venturing into her first year of teaching middle schoolers and deeper community living in the neighborhoods of Grand Rapids. She’s always on the lookout for more active Goodreads friends, podcasts to sink her time into, other casual board gamers, and good indie folk music.