How did you discover the OUTLANDER series?

Outlander book collection

Today (June 1) is World Outlander Day, celebrating the 27th anniversary of OUTLANDER's publication in 1991. Congratulations, and many thanks, to Diana Gabaldon for creating this amazing story! If you're on Twitter, please join the celebration by using the hashtag #WorldOutlanderDay.

The June poll on Outlandish Observations asks the question, "How did you discover the OUTLANDER books?" Please take a moment to vote, and if you'd like to share your story, feel free to leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Here's the story of how I found Diana Gabaldon's books.

Diana often says that these are "word-of-mouth" books, but that's not true in my case. I had never heard of the series or its author, I knew no one else who had read the books, and I knew nothing at all about the plot or the characters in advance. I found OUTLANDER completely by accident, browsing in a Barnes & Noble bookstore sometime in the fall of 2006.

It was the small-size (mass-market) paperback edition. I remember it was on a rack at the end of one of the aisles, or I probably would never have noticed it. My eye was caught by the striking blue color of the cover, and I picked it up (a little startled by the size of it, but not at all put off -- I like Big Fat Historical Novels, and always have) and briefly glanced through it.

Time-travel...that's good, I'm always up for a decent time-travel story. Hmm...Scotland? That could be interesting. starts in 1945, and the main character is an Englishwoman. Is the author British too? Probably.* I often find British novels hard to get into, especially if they take place that far in the past [and by that I meant the 1940's, not the 18th century!]. Am I going to be able to, you know, relate to these characters? **

And so I put it back on the rack. Walked out of the store, and promptly forgot the author's name (quite unintentionally) ***. But I hadn't forgotten about the book, by any means, and I promised myself that if and when I ever saw it again, I'd give it a closer look.

A couple of months went by, and then I finally did find OUTLANDER again. I still hesitated. My thought at the time was, it's an awfully big book to buy if you're not sure ahead of time if you'll like it or not. So I went home without buying it, again, and with the name of the book and the author firmly fixed in my memory this time, looked up the Amazon reviews. Lots of talk in there about the Wentworth scenes, but I'd already had a bit of warning about that, having flipped through the book in the bookstore. The first bit of a scene I read was the part where Jamie tells Claire about the fortress inside him, so I knew something awful was going to happen to him. But I had no idea just how devastating it would be. Not a clue.

I was still wavering, undecided, and then I got a B&N gift card for my birthday. And I figured, why not? <g> Within a few pages, I was hooked! I devoured the first six books (ECHO and MOHB hadn't yet been published) in only about five weeks, then immediately started over, and I have been in a more-or-less continual state of re-reading or re-listening to the books ever since.

HUGE thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating this amazing story, and for her support and encouragement over the last few years! Finding OUTLANDER really has changed my life, in more ways than I can count.

* It took me a LONG time to learn otherwise. For those of you who don't know, Diana was born and raised in Arizona, and currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

** Mea culpa #1. This particular thought makes me want to go back in time and slap myself. <g>

*** Mea culpa #2. I would have been hooked several months earlier if I'd just bought the darn book the first time I saw it! <wry g>

So that's my "How I found OUTLANDER" story. What about the rest of you?


Ruth Dorgan said...

A friend left OUTLANDER at my door. I tried to give it back to her, saying, "I don't read books like this. I teach Shakespeare." She insisted that I give it a try which I did and which hooked me, much to my surprise and chagrin. I am eagerly awaiting the ninth book.

Unknown said...

I found a first edition of Outlander hardback on a clearance table in a very small independent bookstore in the Denver, Colorado area. I think it was in the summer of 1993. I was hooked , and so passed on to relatives and friends.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I found Outlander in June of 2010 , a friend of mine who works in Barnes & Noble knew I loved both Historic / and romantic fiction , have loved historic fiction from reading "gone With the Wind ' in HS and then fell in love with Jane Austen , in 2010 was reading Scottish historical novels and romances and so she said to me that if I liked them that the Outlander series was meant for me so she told me to buy the whole series and so I did . they were such big books I didn't think I'd lime it , but once I started reading and when I got to the Wedding chapters and when Claire tells Jamie the truth about herself , I started reading all into the night , cried my way through the Wentworth scenes and by the ending I was eager to start "Dragonfly In Amber' , by the time I got to The Fiery Cross ' I knew that was hooked and even when the Tv show was started I knew I was a big fan of the books ,and will be a loyal fan for a very long time , so Happy Outlander Weekend. please post more soon. Happy Weekend. Sincerely ,

Asa said...

I discovered Outlander by accident in. January 2014. A FB friend was in the habit of posting pictures of men in kilts. Most were of the type found in calendars.

But then he posted one that was different. The man was fully clothed and a kilt that was longer. And there was a woman in a long skirt. It was a lovely picture. And I felt there was more to the picture. When I enquired of the friend where the picture came from, the only answer I got was, "on the internet". I knew from experience that this person never paid any attention to websites, and never credited pictures.

So since my curiosity wouldn't let me quit,,(there was just something about that picture) I used Google to find the original source,,,,and was quite lucky in being directed to the STARZ>Outlander website. There I discovered the picture was from a TV show that would premiere in August of 2014. A little more research gave me info about the show and the it was based on a book.

Needing a new book to read, I thought I'd read it to get a jump on the show.

So I bought the book, and had the first 7 read by the time the show started. (Working full time and helping to take care of my dad I didn't have a lot of time to read). I started book 8 about the time the show premiered.

I am currently in my 4th reading of the series,,,,having just started the 8th a few days ago.

Belinda said...

In 1999 i found Cross Stitch (as known in Australia) in a bookshop and thought, why not! I absolutely loved it so I went and bought the next 3 books, i think, then had had to wait years in between novels 😣. I lent all my books to a friend recently, and was so jealous that she didnt have to wait 🙄. When i bought the first book, i had a long term relationship break down and the books gave me such comfort😊.

Karen said...

It was shortly after Outlander was published that I joined a book club. You know the kind that if you buy so many books within a year you get the first ones for pennies. Well, the description about time travel and a Scottish highlander caught my attention and it was one of the first books I selected. It became my most favorite book ever, so I introduced it to my mom, who also fell in love with it and proceeded to by the next 4 books in hardback as soon as they were released. When I found out they were making a TV series based on the book, I was hooked before it even came out. It has definitely lived up to my high expectations. I now am rereading the books along with the series. It is fun to read the original story, but picture the scenery and characters so much more vividly.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen like you I too was unsure to read Outlander of not but like you I took a chance and read the book , June of 2010 and I was hooked also I found reading far into the night the scenes in which Claire tells Jamie the truth about herself and when he tries to send her back though the stones , had me hooked and then read "Dragonfly " and "Voyager ' by the 4th book I knew I was hooked and a fan for life . so will an Outlander fans for many years to come . please post more soon. happy Outlander Weekend . Sincerely .

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I first became an Outlander fan in June of 2010 and a friend who worked in Barnes and Noble knew I loved historic fiction and historical romances so said to me that Outlander would be perfect for me and recommended that I read the entire series of books , they were so big that at first wasn't sure , but when I started reading I knew that I had picked the right thing , I found myself reading far into the night , especially the scenes in which Claire finally tells Jamie the truth about herself and he tries to send her back through the stones , made me read well into the night and made me love it , cried through the Wentworth parts and then began "Dragonfly ' by the time I read "Voyager' and "Drums of Autumn' their was no question in my mind as to by being an Outlander Fan for life and the series on Starz made it even more so,, please post more soon. will love Outlander for a very long time to come . Sincerely .

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I hope that you do another Droughtlander photo Contest , it so cool to see fans show off their love for all things Outlander and I'll try to be a part of it , so please let us fans know please post more soon. Happy Week. sincerely .

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I love the audio CDS of Outlander and when I found that I didn't have time to read the books I'd listen to the CDs and love the fact that you can listen to them anywhere , in the car , or on your CD player or while walking or when the Tv is boring and Davina Porter does an amazing job with the narration , I especially like the way she does Claire & Jamie 's voices . so I hope you do also . please post more soon. Happy Week. Sincerely .

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I love Outlander as much as you do and it has helped me through some very tough times and I had to be in the hospital a few years ago and had to have an operation that I didn't know I needed , wen you are in the hospital the world shuts off so the book I took there was Outlander , read the book while recovering and read the Wentworth scenes while there and I felt it Jamie could go through such a terrible ordeal with great courage and help then I could face recovering from my own and so he became an inspiration to me then when my mother had a very bad accident and had to face that once again I turned to Outlander so this in one of the many reasons why the book is so special to me . will be an Outlander fans for many years to come . please post more soon. Happy Week . Sincerely,

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