The culmination of a dream, followed by hysteria

I am probably one of the most easily delighted people I know. Or that my friends know. Or now, that you know. To take a page out of the Abby Handbook (a side project the first draft of which I recently completed) to further explain:

Positive Noises
a. Squeal: This noise is commonly associated with extreme influxes of joy. Should an Abby be pleasantly surprised, encounter one of her favorite things, or engage in a favorite activity or hobby, she may let out a delighted, fairly high pitched squeal. It is not as high as the pained or surprised stress noise, but is similar in length to the discontented stress noise. Though not all too common, it is generally described as adorable in nature and highly pleasant for all those in the vicinity. It is also commonly paired with clapping or covering of the face.
b. Excessive Laughter: This noise is hard to achieve but well worth it. It is often brought about by internal thoughts or insights and is not terribly easy to manipulate into being. Terrible puns, revelations of childhood illnesses, or internet memes can be used to goad your Abby into laughing excessively, but are not guaranteed causes. Laughter can come in various forms, including but not limited to snorts, giggles, and cascading laughter. Certain moods or excessive tiredness can also be used to your advantage when trying to produce bouts of laughter.
c. Hyperventilation: This noise is used when an Abby is extremely excited. This usually occurs immediately after a positive discovery or as a direct response to unexpected kindness or positive behaviors. While not uncommon on its own, this noise is often paired with delighted or impassioned speech patterns, laughter, or squeals.

First off, let me clarify that I don’t make fun of sick children, I just have a few inside jokes related to stories my friends told me about being sick when they were younger.

Secondly, with that being said, when my siblings and I decided to take a trip to London and Paris last summer, I knew I was in for a metaphorical barrel of squeals, excessive laughter, and hyperventilation. The trip was absolutely lovely (Camden Lock Market in London and Shakespeare and Company in Paris in particular) in of itself, but one specific experience was truly the icing on the cake. We went to a bookstore in London, the name of which I sadly can’t remember (September 2013 edit: I believe it was Waterstones?), and as we were browsing, I came across a paperback cover of Garth Nix‘s Lord Sunday. I’d just finished reading Superior Saturday not too long ago after waiting about a year and a half for its paperback release, and was anxiously awaiting the final book in the delightful Keys to the Kingdom series, once again in paperback to satisfy my need for continuity.

Anyway, when I saw the paperback copy, I froze in my tracks. Here, a good year at the earliest before I’d be able to get it, was the book I was most looking forward to reading. With Garth Nix as the long standing favorite of mine among authors, it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. Snatching the copy off the shelf I went off to find my sister. Though I can’t remember the specifics of how it went down, I can only assume–based on the fact my reaction would be exactly this if it happened again–that I found her and began immediately to bother her. I probably stood there shaking her arm or poking her saying her name while taking in great big gasping breaths and telling her repeatedly to “lookatthisbook!” She knows how big of a Garth Nix fan I am, so I’m sure she to some extent understood, but not to the level I did. I mean, nobody could understand that.

Except, I was torn.

After all, I was known for my need for consistency. I hated when cover styles changed on books half way through the series. I had been known to get into states of fury over it, and here I was, about to buy a book with a cover from another country? How could I? With six other beautiful books (not that this cover wasn’t awesome) sitting on my shelf at home, each well loved and read, how could I bring this one home? How could I face my bookshelf if this slap in the face to continuity was there? On the other hand, how could I wait another year? I had felt heartbroken and disappointed every time I went to the book store and Superior Saturday wasn’t there, how could I put myself through that again when the book was here, in paperback, right here in my hand?

I admit I spent way more time worrying about this than I should have. I probably bothered my sister and brother about it some more, taking on my stressed, whiny voice as I tried to figure out what to do, but eventually my desire to find out what happened to Arthur and his friends won out in the end. Using a newly invented loophole in my normal book-buying rules, I deemed it okay to buy the copy under the pretense of a souvenir. I purchased the book, started reading it before I got back to the states, and finished it shortly after. I was not disappointed with it by any means, as usual, and gave it its rightful place of honor on my shelf. I bought the US paperback version when it came out to calm the agitations of my need for order (and also for lending purposes as I wasn’t about to let this wonderful reminder of my vacation slip into someone else’s hands, no matter how much I trusted them), and came away with a great book, a loophole that can let me buy even more books, and a mildly interesting story about hysterics in a book store.

Special bonus? On finding the second volume of The Seventh Tower series in a book store while shopping with a friend after years of searching, I had much the same reaction. To my recollection, Garth Nix books have been the only ones to drive me (shamelessly) so insane.