It's been quite a while since I participated in the Blog Hop sponsored by Crazy For Books, but this week, the question and the amount of time I have to spend answering it seem to jibe pretty well, so here you go:
If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?
Funnily enough, after some reflection I discovered that the answer is "no." I certainly used to as a child. Growing up first in a small, dying mill town in Wisconsin and then in a tiny town in rural Mississippi in the 1970s and 1980s, the libraries had some pretty slim pickings. So when I discovered an author I loved, I not only read everything I could find, I read all the books over and over: Encyclopedia Brown books, Beverly Cleary, C. S. Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L'Engle, the Trixie Belden series, the Anne and Emily books by L. M. Montgomery--if I liked one book by any given author, you could trust me to devour the entire oeuvre. Interlibrary loan became my special friend, for while the local librarians couldn't always make great recommendations for me, they were certainly adept at hunting down all available books by an author I did discover!
I am not sure what changed. Perhaps the amount of free time I had to read declined as school became more demanding. Perhaps it was my access to more and better books as I went off to high school and then college and beyond. Perhaps I begrudgingly acknowledged that not all books by any given author were equally worth reading. Now I work at a lovely independent bookstore and I can get just about any book I would like for the asking (I have good relationships with my many sales reps), but for that same reason, I feel obligated to read more widely. Spending time tracking down books by any given author I love would simply take away from the time I have discovering wonderful new authors. There are, of course, many authors whose new books I will always prioritize reading because I like them so much (Jhumpa Lahiri, Barbara Kingsolver, Abraham Verghese are three recent ones that come to mind) but I don't have the time or the inclination to retrofit my library with favorite authors' previous works.
What about you? How do you handle this?
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