22 April 2011

Book Blogger Hop: Do you stalk authors? Or their books?

Book Blogger Hop

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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  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    The books I mentioned are really good.

    Happy Easter.



  2. Hi, came by through the Hop. I do track down other books by authors I like still, but I haven't been good at that for the past couple of years, but this year I am going out of my way to make time to read and that has helped! I know what you mean about it taking away from new authors, it definitely does, so I only do this for authors I think will be worth it, if that makes sense.

  3. It's interesting to see a "no" answer. I am fortunate enough to be a fast reader so can get through my favourites and a wide variety of new authors too. I think I used to be a lot more selective - I think I'm the opposite of you!

  4. I usually read all the books by favorite authors, but you're right that not all books by the same author are created equal. Oh well. Can't bat a thousand every time! I love to read and am more picky these days. I even STOP reading a book if the first page or 10 doesn't grab me. Life's too short to read stuff I'm not interested in.

  5. It would be wonderful to have all the time in the world to read, to explore new authors AND keep up with old favorites. I do gravitate toward some authors whose books rarely disappoint when I want to kick back and indulge myself. But I do explore new (to me) authors too. It's how I find new favorites.

  6. Hi, there. Thanks for hopping by. I definitely share the sentiment about trying to read more widely as a bookseller. I've found that even though I'm no longer at the bookstore, I do hold on to the idea about spreading the word about as many different things as I can. I tend to end up hoarding books by old favorites as a result -- masses of them in the TBR stack and nowhere near enough time to devote to everything I want to read. The dilemma of a book junkie!

  7. Hi, Found you via the Hop. Love your blog and I'm now your newest follower!

    Primo Reads


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