I assume like most bibliophiles, there are a few authors that touch that nerve of pure enjoyment and satisfaction inside. Their stories fill me with an inner sense of delight at the places, characters, and emotions described, and leave me feeling a little high upon completion—wanting more but wonderfully gratified with what I have. And completion is, unfortunately, a necessity. While we may like to be forever in those places and among those characters, the last page inevitably turns. And for authors who have passed, so too do oeuvres have a last page; at some point in time I will have read everything by an author and face the reality of not being able to embark on any virgin experience.
And thus it is with a few authors I have patiently let their final unread book sit on the shelf for years, waiting for the moment that feels right to enter upon that last bit of glory. With Iain Banks’ The Hydrogen Sonata (2012) a couple of weeks ago the moment felt right. And so, with mixed feelings, I dived in for my last, virgin experience in the Culture. I have emerged upon the last page to confirm delayed gratification is a real thing.