I checked out Lev Grossman’s The Magicians from the library five times. Not because I loved it so much and wanted to re-read it, but because it just didn’t “take” on tries one through four. What kind of an idiot wastes their time trying to read a book, voluntarily, over and over again without getting into it, especially when there is access to an almost infinite number of other interesting books? A book nerd. A very determined book nerd. A book nerd who is studying readers’ advisory and has had the famous phrase “the right book for the right person at the right time” drilled into them.
When it came out in 2009, The Magicians garnered rave reviews from professional journals and readers alike, as a noteworthy literary fantasy for adults. That sounds great, said I, and picked up the book, only to return it largely unread. Maybe it will catch my attention more if I read it in the winter, I thought? Nope. Over the years, several friends and colleagues suggested it to me as a book I would like. Yes, but no. I guess it was just the wrong time.
Cut to the pandemic of 2020 and stay-at-home orders…I’m working from home and have The Magicians at hand. With no reading pressures on me and time to spare, I finally found the right book at the right time. I am a little over halfway through the book and all indicators point to a satisfactory finish in the next week. All I had to do to get into the book was wait for a world-wide pandemic. Who knew?