I'm always flattered when a reader tells me he/she couldn't put one of my books down. It 's a high compliment to be told I caused a person to be so caught up in a story that he couldn't stop until the end. The best books, of course make us rather sad to get to that last page, but we rush ahead to it anyway, accepting the inevitable destination in exchange for the excitement of the journey.

I mentioned that I'm reading THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON by Kate Morton, and I was reluctant to put it down this morning and come to the computer. It almost feels as if I, as the reader, am holding these poor people up, making them wait to find out what happens in their lives. That's the spell a good writer weaves: readers feel their presence, their participation, is required.

Even when it isn't possible to read a book straight through, and for many of us it seldom is, the author has succeeded if the desire is there to put our own lives on hold while we "help" the characters sort theirs out.

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