The comments on this post about Outlander brought back a memory of my first exposure to the novel. Recommended to me by a student about 12 years ago, I had every intention of reading it, but it didn't grab me, and busy grading a set of essays, I eventually let it slide.
However, I still remember E., with her head bent over that book and my surprise and pleasure because E., an athlete not a scholar, had shown little interest in books at all. But there she was reading that huge tome, day after day, with such pleasure. (I always gave credit for books of choice and often some class time for reading.)
I've no doubt that she has followed the series religiously. Whether or not I actually read Outlander this time and whether or not I like it, I cannot fail to be impressed by the fact that Gabaldon has created dedicated readers of many people who never enjoyed reading before. Her fans are amazingly loyal and unfailingly enthusiastic -- heady praise for an author.
These memories of students, and the different aspects of literature and the different novels that caught their attention, remain as moments of pleasure. The ones that loved Siddhartha and those who hated it-- and Wuthering Heights and Hamlet (well, most of them loved Hamlet) and Pride and Prejudice and The Mayor of Casterbridge and Mary Higgins Clark and Jane Austen and Stephen King and Walker Percy and Tolkien and Gabaldon and mysteries and fantasy and science fiction and Gothic tales...