Reflections on Anticipation

As with most book lovers I have a tendency to shriek about the books I’m excited for and beg that I be granted them early. And usually I am so excited when I get accepted for or sent an ARC. But something happened recently that made me question whether getting a book early is really what I want when I scream that I want that far off book RIGHT NOW!

i want gimme GIF

If you read my March Wrap Up you’ll know that I was lucky enough to get an eARC of my most anticipated book of the year, The Bride Test. I loved it and I’m going to have a review up soon, something strange happened when I found out I got early access to it, and I wanted to discuss it.

You see, finding out that I was able to read my most anticipated book of the year right then and there put me in a state of shock. I was freaking out. I was in disbelief. I felt a whole slew of emotions. And once I started untangling my emotions, I found that besides for my obvious joy, I was also disappointed?? At first I felt awful for feeling that way. I had wanted this book for so long, so how dare I feel disappointed! How dare I feel anything but pure joy! But as I thought about it some more I started to understand what had happened.

I think that I had made my peace with not ever getting my hands on the book until release day. And because of that I was counting down the days until May 7th, when I could get a finished copy of The Bride Test and squeal and shout in happiness. And then suddenly, I was no longer waiting for May 7th, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was upset not that I got the book, but more so that I no longer was able to anticipate the book all the way through May.

What Happens Now GIF by Romy

This obviously led to a lot of reflection, which in turn led to this post. I know that anticipation is sometimes seen as dangerous because it can make your expectations too high, and because it really can be frustrating to wait months to a year for a book that sounds perfect or a sequel in a series.

More than once I’ve been looking at anticipation from this perspective. I use my anticipation to build up the hype and I get disappointed. I’m in a slump and the only book I crave comes out in two months. I understand why anticipation gets a bad rap. But I’ve also gained a new appreciation for the wait. I will probably still yell and scream that I want books now, but not as soon as I hear they’re going to be published. I think I like the anticipation now. I think I want to have some time to anticipate a book before I’m granted it.

2019-04-29 (1)

How do you feel about anticipation? Have you ever felt a bit upset that you could no longer wait for a book? Do you think anticipation is bad because of the expectations it causes?

 

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23 thoughts on “Reflections on Anticipation

  1. Wow, this post is so interesting! I’ve never had the same experience (I haven’t gone into the world of ARCs, haha), but I relate to book anticipation in general. I think my main form of anticipation disappointment is waiting and waiting for a book to be released and then being unable to read it for a while, due to if it’s checked out at the library or if my library hasn’t ordered it yet. I think I’ve become a very impatient reader?? I should change that.😂

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    1. Thank you! The experience was so strange that I felt I had to share it!

      Ugh! A longer wait than necessary is super difficult! I had a book that took about me about a month to get from the library, and I kept checking every day to see if there was any progress! It was so frustrating!

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  2. I guess I had a similar experience with reading sequels; I was anticipating a novel so much, the sequel to a series I adore. It came out, I read, it was AMAZING and then I realized? I would have nothing for months, maybe a couple years and I was disappointed. Until promotion, a title and cover came out, I’d have nothing if that makes sense? I was super happy but disappointed. It happens I think 😦

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  3. Oh this is such an interesting post, I love it! I think I have a love/hate relationship with anticipation. On the one hand, there are SO many books I can’t wait to read and am so, so impatient to get to and wish I could get my hands on right this very second or get approved for an ARC and read it and gush about it allM. On the other hand, though, there’s something so rewarding about having waited for so long and finally being able to read this book you’ve been anticipating… it’s thrilling, really. I want to think there are some books worth waiting for and having this feeling for 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I definitely agree! There are some books that I’ve been super excited for and getting a notification that I was approved for an ARC made my day! I think the fact that this was my most anticipated read, and that I had already gotten rejected for the ARC had me in a different mindset than usual and so the anticipation had me super excited! The feeling of that anticipation being taken away was therefore a lot to process.

      But there are SO many books I’m still anticipating and I’m very exciting that we’re reaching the time in the year where all my anticipation finally gets fulfilled in the form of all the books!

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  4. This is such an interesting topic, I love it!

    I can definitley see the value in anticipation. When I think about first reading the Harry Potter books, back when they were being releases – I think the wait between books was a big part of making the reading experience so special. All that time I spent longing for the next book, wondering what would happen, imagining different scenarios, feels like extra time I got to spend with the characters in a way. If I’d read them all when they were already out, I’d have binged the series in a few weeks and I’d still have loved it, but it wouldn’t have taken up as much space in my brain, if that makes sense.

    On the other hand… there are some new releases I would very, very, very much like to have right now.

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    1. Thank you!

      Yes! Exactly! I think the wait adds something to the story. You get the chance to theorize and build up expectations in some way, and finding out whether you were right can be a lot of fun! But if I had to wait for every single book out there I’d be a mess! I think this occurrence might be a good way to get me to be more mindful of what I request, so that I don’t request every ARC under the sun. And I’m okay with that change in mentality!

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  5. Ooh this is so interesting to think about! I don’t know if I’ve ever felt disappointed that I got a book early, but I’ve definitely been in a situation where I love a book more than I might have otherwise because I was anticipating it for so long. And there’s certainly something to be said for the community building that comes with anticipating a new release with all the other fans, which you don’t get if you’ve gotten the book early!

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    1. It’s not quite that I was disappointed to get the book early, it was more that I was disappointed that the wait was over so soon, if that makes any sense. As you said, I was sad I didn’t have an even greater chance to anticipate the book. But it all ended up okay, as I really enjoyed The Bride Test despite my weird reaction to receiving the ARC early!

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  6. I think I used to feel a little bit of that, when waiting for the last book in a series. The books are usually spread out by at least a year, and I have already dedicated myself to the world, and then, you know, it’s just over. There’s nothing more to wait for or look forward to.

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  7. How incredibly interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever had this happen to me, but I can definitely understand how your countdown in your head got shut down and you suddenly lost that excitement of anticipation. I could see this being a real issue for people who really focus on that release date. Great post!

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    1. It was such a weird experience! Normally I’m nothing but overjoyed at receiving anticipated ARCs! I think that the combination of it being my most anticipated book of 2019 and the shock of getting it early just caused a super weird reaction!

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  8. I have definitely had this experience, sadly! Like- I will be CRAVING a sequel, until I get my actual hands on it, which is the point where it sits on my shelves for three years unread. I have no idea why I do this- maybe I am afraid it won’t live up to my expectations? Which, I think you are right, the anticipation causes too high of for SURE. Like we almost become fixated on this Future Book™, whch we then place on a pedestal and… yep, too much hype happens! Great post, even though I am quite sorry you feel this way too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! The wait being over CRUSHES me! When I get review copies from NetGalley and such I’m pretty good about reading them on time, but when I get them from events such as BookCon I do the exact same thing as you and push off my most anticipated reads! Anticipation and hype are truly strange creatures. They don’t ever work out the way I think they will!

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