Did I create this character, or did bookstagram create this character?

Javi came to life before I got into bookstagram (as little as I consider myself “into bookstagram,” that is), and his love of books was extrapolated from my own. But during final edits of The Quiet is Loud, I started to worry that maybe I had been an unwilling host for an invisible AI entity to create bookstagram in human form. That in itself would make for a weird sci-fi novel, I think. Wouldn’t it be the oddest sequel to this book ever? ⁠

We went into his library and I became distracted by the books. Tall white bookcases lined one entire wall, small LED light fixtures dotting the tops. The shelves held a mixture of hardcovers and paperbacks. They all looked pristine, and some looked expensive. They weren’t organized by surname, as I was expecting. The order seemed to follow no logic at all, and groups of books by the same author weren’t alphabetized. How they were organized was something I couldn’t parse at a glance.⁠

“Genre first, then chronology, then last name,” Javi said.⁠

I turned to him, my mouth hanging open. “Are you kidding?”⁠

“You keep thinking I joke about my books.”

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