Some thoughts on starting “The Shepherd’s Crown” by Terry Pratchett

My wife bought “The Shepherd’s Crown for me in hardcover the Christmas after it came out in 2015. It’s been sitting in a place of honour of my shelves, unread, since then.

It’s not that I don’t want to read it, I really do. Tiffany Aching is one of my favourite characters and I think she was the one Terry Pratchett was most in love with. She’s the only character that he takes from child to woman.

It’s just that, this is the last Tiffany Aching book. It’s the last Discworld book. Once I’ve read it there won’t be anything unread ahead of me. The next to last book in a series leaves open many possibilities. The final book in a series, well, it changes all the books that came before it and after it, no more change is possible. And the fifth Tiffany Aching book, “I Shall Wear Midnight” was so perfect and what if “The Shepherd’s Crown” isn’t?

But…

…the decade is ending and I have only one or two more left. It’s time to stop putting things off. It’s time to consider endings.

And…

…this year, I started to re-read the City Guards Discworld subseries and I was reminded that books are never over. I now have the memory of the book when I first read it and the memory of reading it later and seeing different things and the understanding that it’s readers who change and who are eventually over. Books are forever.

So…

…this Christmas, I’m going to visit Tiffany Aching and stand by her as she faces whatever threat is emerging and I’m going to get as much enjoyment from it as I can and then move on, until the next time.

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