Total Litiots

Mom_thumbnailI know people, and I even like some of them, who don’t read books.

Yes. True. They just don’t read books. Now, these folks are literate. They read newspapers and advertisements, and the occasional magazine. But they don’t read books, fiction or non-fiction.

I can’t understand it. But so it is.

Booksnob_2What’s worse though, in my opinion, are those who do read books – but only those they see in reviews in the NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW YORKER and other influential magazines, or those books being touted on TV. These readers are in the same class as people who belong to book clubs and only read what’s assigned to them. Goes without saying that these misguided folk don’t read any genre fiction unless it’s being touted by their Literary Authorities – they are only reading so that they can talk about what they read and be considered intelligent.

For all they read, I don’t think any of these people are literate in the truest sense of the word. They’d never walk into a bookstore and just look around, browsing through all the aisles, glancing at covers, reading blurbs and bits, seeing what might interest them. That idea would just be alien to them. Read something they haven’t heard about? A book their friends, or the people they look to as notable, aren’t reading? Be seen with a book no one that they know reviewed? Or buy a paperback, especially an unknown one with a sexy or lurid cover? These readers will never do that. They sneer at such books.

I have to giggle when I see such former paperback romances reissued in hardcover when the author gets famous and on the bestseller list, and these same people reading books they wouldn’t have touched in the original. (As to that – while they say hot covers make it easier for romance readers to identify their faves that way, its still arguable whether or not those covers, while holding on to their fan base, ever bring in new readers, and will ever let romance readers and writers be taken seriously. Discuss among yourselves.)

Still, to only read the already read and approved? Bah, fah, and humbug. To me, the thrill of discovery is part of the literate experience. Finding an unknown author in any genre and then falling in love with the style and enjoyment of the writing is a delicious experience. Those folks will never know that thrill of discovery.

Of course I read romances and historical novels; I adore them. But I read everything that looks interesting, no matter the genre. I love fantasy, and mysteries: police and P.I., historical and modern, serious and funny ones. Science fiction, I teethed on those and love the good ones even now. I’ve even tried erotic, exotic, experimental and mainstream fiction too. (Although not horror. I’m too impressionable and always hear things that go bump in the night anyway.)

For example, I discovered Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld novel in paperback, and it in paperback – with a silly cover as well. But it intrigued me and I bought it, and was utterly enthralled, and became hooked on his books. A CIVIL CONTRACT got me fascinated with Miles Vorkosigan, and started my reading Louise McMasters Boujold (albeit backward, from CC, the last book written, to the first in the series.) I’ve found many other authors by browsing: some who became famous, some who didn’t; some who never lived up to the promise although they published again.

I must admit I have tossed some of these randomly selected books before finishing them. But when I hit a winner, I so enjoy the adventure of finding it on my own that I don’t mind the occasional disappointment.

Book browsing and gambling on new authors or those new to you is fun. It’s a thing, I fear, that many people I know will never ever know, no matter how much they read. Have you ever picked up a book you didn’t intend to buy, never thought to buy, and been seduced by something – anything about it? And then found yourself with a new writer you adore? Only then, are you, in my estimation, truly literate. Congratulations.

136 thoughts on “Total Litiots”

  1. Oh… yes…..
    Guess how I got hooked on reading historical romance? (Other than Georgette Heyer, which I’ve read for years).
    I was buying a DVD (Judy Dench- had to have it NOW) and had to get up to the $39 mark to get free shipping from Amazon. So I browsed the bargain books and bought a ‘two in one’ edition of an established romance author…figuring it might be good for a rainy day. Surprise. Then I read a couple of Jo Beverley’s that I’d picked up on a recommendation but never read…and I WAS HOOKED.
    I do ‘impulse buy’ books….both online and in the store. In fact, I can’t really pass a stack of books, even in a Walmart, without seeing what might be there for a couple of dollars…
    But my favourite? Sharing books with friends. I’m terribly impolite. If I go to your house, I’ll admire the furnishings and warmly compliment the food and hospitality….but I’ll continually be eying your bookshelves. If I like you, I’ll want to see what you’ve read that I haven’t discovered yet. (-;

    Reply
  2. Oh… yes…..
    Guess how I got hooked on reading historical romance? (Other than Georgette Heyer, which I’ve read for years).
    I was buying a DVD (Judy Dench- had to have it NOW) and had to get up to the $39 mark to get free shipping from Amazon. So I browsed the bargain books and bought a ‘two in one’ edition of an established romance author…figuring it might be good for a rainy day. Surprise. Then I read a couple of Jo Beverley’s that I’d picked up on a recommendation but never read…and I WAS HOOKED.
    I do ‘impulse buy’ books….both online and in the store. In fact, I can’t really pass a stack of books, even in a Walmart, without seeing what might be there for a couple of dollars…
    But my favourite? Sharing books with friends. I’m terribly impolite. If I go to your house, I’ll admire the furnishings and warmly compliment the food and hospitality….but I’ll continually be eying your bookshelves. If I like you, I’ll want to see what you’ve read that I haven’t discovered yet. (-;

    Reply
  3. Oh… yes…..
    Guess how I got hooked on reading historical romance? (Other than Georgette Heyer, which I’ve read for years).
    I was buying a DVD (Judy Dench- had to have it NOW) and had to get up to the $39 mark to get free shipping from Amazon. So I browsed the bargain books and bought a ‘two in one’ edition of an established romance author…figuring it might be good for a rainy day. Surprise. Then I read a couple of Jo Beverley’s that I’d picked up on a recommendation but never read…and I WAS HOOKED.
    I do ‘impulse buy’ books….both online and in the store. In fact, I can’t really pass a stack of books, even in a Walmart, without seeing what might be there for a couple of dollars…
    But my favourite? Sharing books with friends. I’m terribly impolite. If I go to your house, I’ll admire the furnishings and warmly compliment the food and hospitality….but I’ll continually be eying your bookshelves. If I like you, I’ll want to see what you’ve read that I haven’t discovered yet. (-;

    Reply
  4. Oh… yes…..
    Guess how I got hooked on reading historical romance? (Other than Georgette Heyer, which I’ve read for years).
    I was buying a DVD (Judy Dench- had to have it NOW) and had to get up to the $39 mark to get free shipping from Amazon. So I browsed the bargain books and bought a ‘two in one’ edition of an established romance author…figuring it might be good for a rainy day. Surprise. Then I read a couple of Jo Beverley’s that I’d picked up on a recommendation but never read…and I WAS HOOKED.
    I do ‘impulse buy’ books….both online and in the store. In fact, I can’t really pass a stack of books, even in a Walmart, without seeing what might be there for a couple of dollars…
    But my favourite? Sharing books with friends. I’m terribly impolite. If I go to your house, I’ll admire the furnishings and warmly compliment the food and hospitality….but I’ll continually be eying your bookshelves. If I like you, I’ll want to see what you’ve read that I haven’t discovered yet. (-;

    Reply
  5. I absolutely buy books on impulse (usually drawn in by the cover). This is how I discovered both Pam Rosenthal and Julia Ross. Sadly, I’m turned off by most romance covers. I’d pick up Candice Hern’s latest series from NAL based on the covers, but romances with covers like those are few and far between. If all romances had beautiful, “literary” covers like those (or like Susan’s historical fiction books!) I’d have glommed on to the genre a lot early than I did. LOL!

    Reply
  6. I absolutely buy books on impulse (usually drawn in by the cover). This is how I discovered both Pam Rosenthal and Julia Ross. Sadly, I’m turned off by most romance covers. I’d pick up Candice Hern’s latest series from NAL based on the covers, but romances with covers like those are few and far between. If all romances had beautiful, “literary” covers like those (or like Susan’s historical fiction books!) I’d have glommed on to the genre a lot early than I did. LOL!

    Reply
  7. I absolutely buy books on impulse (usually drawn in by the cover). This is how I discovered both Pam Rosenthal and Julia Ross. Sadly, I’m turned off by most romance covers. I’d pick up Candice Hern’s latest series from NAL based on the covers, but romances with covers like those are few and far between. If all romances had beautiful, “literary” covers like those (or like Susan’s historical fiction books!) I’d have glommed on to the genre a lot early than I did. LOL!

    Reply
  8. I absolutely buy books on impulse (usually drawn in by the cover). This is how I discovered both Pam Rosenthal and Julia Ross. Sadly, I’m turned off by most romance covers. I’d pick up Candice Hern’s latest series from NAL based on the covers, but romances with covers like those are few and far between. If all romances had beautiful, “literary” covers like those (or like Susan’s historical fiction books!) I’d have glommed on to the genre a lot early than I did. LOL!

    Reply
  9. But Kalen, haven’t you ever heard the old truism:
    “You can’t judge a book by its cover any more than you can a lover by his brother.” ?
    Or something like that.
    Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!

    Reply
  10. But Kalen, haven’t you ever heard the old truism:
    “You can’t judge a book by its cover any more than you can a lover by his brother.” ?
    Or something like that.
    Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!

    Reply
  11. But Kalen, haven’t you ever heard the old truism:
    “You can’t judge a book by its cover any more than you can a lover by his brother.” ?
    Or something like that.
    Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!

    Reply
  12. But Kalen, haven’t you ever heard the old truism:
    “You can’t judge a book by its cover any more than you can a lover by his brother.” ?
    Or something like that.
    Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!

    Reply
  13. This is off topic, so please pardon me. I just wanted to say that Loretta’s new book is arriving today on my doorstep, via UPS from Amazon, and I cannot wait to drop my work and set myself down in a chair to start reading! I’m so excited!
    -Beth

    Reply
  14. This is off topic, so please pardon me. I just wanted to say that Loretta’s new book is arriving today on my doorstep, via UPS from Amazon, and I cannot wait to drop my work and set myself down in a chair to start reading! I’m so excited!
    -Beth

    Reply
  15. This is off topic, so please pardon me. I just wanted to say that Loretta’s new book is arriving today on my doorstep, via UPS from Amazon, and I cannot wait to drop my work and set myself down in a chair to start reading! I’m so excited!
    -Beth

    Reply
  16. This is off topic, so please pardon me. I just wanted to say that Loretta’s new book is arriving today on my doorstep, via UPS from Amazon, and I cannot wait to drop my work and set myself down in a chair to start reading! I’m so excited!
    -Beth

    Reply
  17. I do by books on impulse, though not as much as I did 5-10 years ago before I was so well-connected to the online reading and writing community. Back then I didn’t have as many places to go for recommendations, so I was much more dependent on browsing. But I still love to just walk through a bookstore, library, or even the used book racks at my local thrift store and see what jumps out at me.
    My husband isn’t a big reader. He probably reads as many books in a year as I read in a month, and his choices are 90% nonfiction while mine are roughly 50-50. He does usually pick books that are getting some kind of buzz–a good review on EW, an interesting author interview with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. (I’m even more drawn by that sort of thing and will often wordlessly seize the laptop in mid-interview so I can place the book on hold at the library.) I wish he read more–even after nearly 8 years of marriage, it’s hard for me to understand how anyone as smart as he is can NOT be addicted to books–but he’s intelligent, imaginative, and well-informed even though he reads about a dozen books a year while I’d feel like a failure if I read less than 100!

    Reply
  18. I do by books on impulse, though not as much as I did 5-10 years ago before I was so well-connected to the online reading and writing community. Back then I didn’t have as many places to go for recommendations, so I was much more dependent on browsing. But I still love to just walk through a bookstore, library, or even the used book racks at my local thrift store and see what jumps out at me.
    My husband isn’t a big reader. He probably reads as many books in a year as I read in a month, and his choices are 90% nonfiction while mine are roughly 50-50. He does usually pick books that are getting some kind of buzz–a good review on EW, an interesting author interview with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. (I’m even more drawn by that sort of thing and will often wordlessly seize the laptop in mid-interview so I can place the book on hold at the library.) I wish he read more–even after nearly 8 years of marriage, it’s hard for me to understand how anyone as smart as he is can NOT be addicted to books–but he’s intelligent, imaginative, and well-informed even though he reads about a dozen books a year while I’d feel like a failure if I read less than 100!

    Reply
  19. I do by books on impulse, though not as much as I did 5-10 years ago before I was so well-connected to the online reading and writing community. Back then I didn’t have as many places to go for recommendations, so I was much more dependent on browsing. But I still love to just walk through a bookstore, library, or even the used book racks at my local thrift store and see what jumps out at me.
    My husband isn’t a big reader. He probably reads as many books in a year as I read in a month, and his choices are 90% nonfiction while mine are roughly 50-50. He does usually pick books that are getting some kind of buzz–a good review on EW, an interesting author interview with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. (I’m even more drawn by that sort of thing and will often wordlessly seize the laptop in mid-interview so I can place the book on hold at the library.) I wish he read more–even after nearly 8 years of marriage, it’s hard for me to understand how anyone as smart as he is can NOT be addicted to books–but he’s intelligent, imaginative, and well-informed even though he reads about a dozen books a year while I’d feel like a failure if I read less than 100!

    Reply
  20. I do by books on impulse, though not as much as I did 5-10 years ago before I was so well-connected to the online reading and writing community. Back then I didn’t have as many places to go for recommendations, so I was much more dependent on browsing. But I still love to just walk through a bookstore, library, or even the used book racks at my local thrift store and see what jumps out at me.
    My husband isn’t a big reader. He probably reads as many books in a year as I read in a month, and his choices are 90% nonfiction while mine are roughly 50-50. He does usually pick books that are getting some kind of buzz–a good review on EW, an interesting author interview with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. (I’m even more drawn by that sort of thing and will often wordlessly seize the laptop in mid-interview so I can place the book on hold at the library.) I wish he read more–even after nearly 8 years of marriage, it’s hard for me to understand how anyone as smart as he is can NOT be addicted to books–but he’s intelligent, imaginative, and well-informed even though he reads about a dozen books a year while I’d feel like a failure if I read less than 100!

    Reply
  21. I’ll find books through any method! Though covers are often equally repelling as inviting.
    Sometimes it’s not even important that the books are any good – it’s all about getting someone’s unique vision. The freakier books are more interesting. When I was younger I was fascinated by secondhand books from America that infrequently turned up in my home town. I figured if someone had gone to all that trouble to bring it here (to the UK) then there had to be something compelling about it!

    Reply
  22. I’ll find books through any method! Though covers are often equally repelling as inviting.
    Sometimes it’s not even important that the books are any good – it’s all about getting someone’s unique vision. The freakier books are more interesting. When I was younger I was fascinated by secondhand books from America that infrequently turned up in my home town. I figured if someone had gone to all that trouble to bring it here (to the UK) then there had to be something compelling about it!

    Reply
  23. I’ll find books through any method! Though covers are often equally repelling as inviting.
    Sometimes it’s not even important that the books are any good – it’s all about getting someone’s unique vision. The freakier books are more interesting. When I was younger I was fascinated by secondhand books from America that infrequently turned up in my home town. I figured if someone had gone to all that trouble to bring it here (to the UK) then there had to be something compelling about it!

    Reply
  24. I’ll find books through any method! Though covers are often equally repelling as inviting.
    Sometimes it’s not even important that the books are any good – it’s all about getting someone’s unique vision. The freakier books are more interesting. When I was younger I was fascinated by secondhand books from America that infrequently turned up in my home town. I figured if someone had gone to all that trouble to bring it here (to the UK) then there had to be something compelling about it!

    Reply
  25. The last author I discovered by browsing is actually the woman you mention – Lois McMaster Bujold. I picked up one of her paperback fantasy novels and LOVED it – to my surprise. I’m not a huge fantasy reader. I immediately bought all her fantasy books out then and *tried* to find similar fantasies without much success.
    And, the cover made me pick it up. When I know absolutely nothing about a book, it is the cover that will first attract my attention. Anything historical looking always appeals to me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  26. The last author I discovered by browsing is actually the woman you mention – Lois McMaster Bujold. I picked up one of her paperback fantasy novels and LOVED it – to my surprise. I’m not a huge fantasy reader. I immediately bought all her fantasy books out then and *tried* to find similar fantasies without much success.
    And, the cover made me pick it up. When I know absolutely nothing about a book, it is the cover that will first attract my attention. Anything historical looking always appeals to me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  27. The last author I discovered by browsing is actually the woman you mention – Lois McMaster Bujold. I picked up one of her paperback fantasy novels and LOVED it – to my surprise. I’m not a huge fantasy reader. I immediately bought all her fantasy books out then and *tried* to find similar fantasies without much success.
    And, the cover made me pick it up. When I know absolutely nothing about a book, it is the cover that will first attract my attention. Anything historical looking always appeals to me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  28. The last author I discovered by browsing is actually the woman you mention – Lois McMaster Bujold. I picked up one of her paperback fantasy novels and LOVED it – to my surprise. I’m not a huge fantasy reader. I immediately bought all her fantasy books out then and *tried* to find similar fantasies without much success.
    And, the cover made me pick it up. When I know absolutely nothing about a book, it is the cover that will first attract my attention. Anything historical looking always appeals to me.
    -Michelle

    Reply
  29. “Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!”
    Edith, don’t get me wrong, my shelves are FILLED with torrid covers. LOL! If I wasn’t able to get past them I wouldn’t get to read 99% of the authors that I LOVE (heck, my own book has a naked guy on the cover, you can’t get more “overheated” than that). But those covers don’t attract me as a reader, I buy in spite of them.

    Reply
  30. “Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!”
    Edith, don’t get me wrong, my shelves are FILLED with torrid covers. LOL! If I wasn’t able to get past them I wouldn’t get to read 99% of the authors that I LOVE (heck, my own book has a naked guy on the cover, you can’t get more “overheated” than that). But those covers don’t attract me as a reader, I buy in spite of them.

    Reply
  31. “Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!”
    Edith, don’t get me wrong, my shelves are FILLED with torrid covers. LOL! If I wasn’t able to get past them I wouldn’t get to read 99% of the authors that I LOVE (heck, my own book has a naked guy on the cover, you can’t get more “overheated” than that). But those covers don’t attract me as a reader, I buy in spite of them.

    Reply
  32. “Oh, please, try an overheated cover once in a while. Remember, the author doesn’t have anything to do with them!”
    Edith, don’t get me wrong, my shelves are FILLED with torrid covers. LOL! If I wasn’t able to get past them I wouldn’t get to read 99% of the authors that I LOVE (heck, my own book has a naked guy on the cover, you can’t get more “overheated” than that). But those covers don’t attract me as a reader, I buy in spite of them.

    Reply
  33. I’m the browser in my family – just last week, I went to B&N with the express purpose of buying from the bargain books section. No other guidelines, just what caught my interest. I walked out with a book on American cars, a timeline of the Bible, an art history book… and several others. None of them would I have thought to hunt for. I’m very happy with all of them. I always browse the romance and mystery sections too, looking for new authors. Like Kalen, though, a lot of times I buy in spite of the covers.
    My sister loves the sweet Regencies, and likes humor in her books. She tried a couple of the bodice rippers in the 1980s, and since then refused to even touch the “big books”. Finally, when she was recovering from back surgery recently, I sent her a Julia Quinn along with some traditional Regencies. She was hooked. I sent her a dozen more Quinns, and she’s now haranging me to send her all the rest I have. This shipment (she lives in another state) will include a few other authors to get her to branch out. It’s very fun to hear her rave about the books she always sniffed at me for reading. I suspect before long she’ll be browsing the “big books” herself to discover new authors.
    I’ve discovered authors as diverse as Margaret Weiss, Tony Hillerman and Dean Koontz through browsing. Every day is an adventure for an intrepid reader.

    Reply
  34. I’m the browser in my family – just last week, I went to B&N with the express purpose of buying from the bargain books section. No other guidelines, just what caught my interest. I walked out with a book on American cars, a timeline of the Bible, an art history book… and several others. None of them would I have thought to hunt for. I’m very happy with all of them. I always browse the romance and mystery sections too, looking for new authors. Like Kalen, though, a lot of times I buy in spite of the covers.
    My sister loves the sweet Regencies, and likes humor in her books. She tried a couple of the bodice rippers in the 1980s, and since then refused to even touch the “big books”. Finally, when she was recovering from back surgery recently, I sent her a Julia Quinn along with some traditional Regencies. She was hooked. I sent her a dozen more Quinns, and she’s now haranging me to send her all the rest I have. This shipment (she lives in another state) will include a few other authors to get her to branch out. It’s very fun to hear her rave about the books she always sniffed at me for reading. I suspect before long she’ll be browsing the “big books” herself to discover new authors.
    I’ve discovered authors as diverse as Margaret Weiss, Tony Hillerman and Dean Koontz through browsing. Every day is an adventure for an intrepid reader.

    Reply
  35. I’m the browser in my family – just last week, I went to B&N with the express purpose of buying from the bargain books section. No other guidelines, just what caught my interest. I walked out with a book on American cars, a timeline of the Bible, an art history book… and several others. None of them would I have thought to hunt for. I’m very happy with all of them. I always browse the romance and mystery sections too, looking for new authors. Like Kalen, though, a lot of times I buy in spite of the covers.
    My sister loves the sweet Regencies, and likes humor in her books. She tried a couple of the bodice rippers in the 1980s, and since then refused to even touch the “big books”. Finally, when she was recovering from back surgery recently, I sent her a Julia Quinn along with some traditional Regencies. She was hooked. I sent her a dozen more Quinns, and she’s now haranging me to send her all the rest I have. This shipment (she lives in another state) will include a few other authors to get her to branch out. It’s very fun to hear her rave about the books she always sniffed at me for reading. I suspect before long she’ll be browsing the “big books” herself to discover new authors.
    I’ve discovered authors as diverse as Margaret Weiss, Tony Hillerman and Dean Koontz through browsing. Every day is an adventure for an intrepid reader.

    Reply
  36. I’m the browser in my family – just last week, I went to B&N with the express purpose of buying from the bargain books section. No other guidelines, just what caught my interest. I walked out with a book on American cars, a timeline of the Bible, an art history book… and several others. None of them would I have thought to hunt for. I’m very happy with all of them. I always browse the romance and mystery sections too, looking for new authors. Like Kalen, though, a lot of times I buy in spite of the covers.
    My sister loves the sweet Regencies, and likes humor in her books. She tried a couple of the bodice rippers in the 1980s, and since then refused to even touch the “big books”. Finally, when she was recovering from back surgery recently, I sent her a Julia Quinn along with some traditional Regencies. She was hooked. I sent her a dozen more Quinns, and she’s now haranging me to send her all the rest I have. This shipment (she lives in another state) will include a few other authors to get her to branch out. It’s very fun to hear her rave about the books she always sniffed at me for reading. I suspect before long she’ll be browsing the “big books” herself to discover new authors.
    I’ve discovered authors as diverse as Margaret Weiss, Tony Hillerman and Dean Koontz through browsing. Every day is an adventure for an intrepid reader.

    Reply
  37. I’m constantly amazed by the number of successful, educated people who just…don’t….read. They’ve got great big fancy houses, but there’s nary a bookshelf inside (except for the ones holding the DVDs.) I’m not tossing brickbats at some nebulous group, either — I’m talking about people who graduated from college with me. And they’re the same ones who end up paying top-dollar to learning tutors for their children because those children don’t like to read. Well, duh.
    Anyway. I’ve heard that the proliferation of big-box stores and the disappearance of indie book stores has led directly to the increased power of bookclubs and lists. People feel daunted by the number of choices available to them in the big stores, and there’s no one to ask for a reccommendation except for Oprah. Buy one of her books (or one with a NYT quote on the front) and your choice is instantly validated. Doesn’t matter whether you actually LIKE the book or not, you have a lot of company so it’s okay.
    Of course this is a completely alien notion to us who can’t keep away from a pile of books if our lives depended on it…but then some people like the Yankees, too. *ggg*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  38. I’m constantly amazed by the number of successful, educated people who just…don’t….read. They’ve got great big fancy houses, but there’s nary a bookshelf inside (except for the ones holding the DVDs.) I’m not tossing brickbats at some nebulous group, either — I’m talking about people who graduated from college with me. And they’re the same ones who end up paying top-dollar to learning tutors for their children because those children don’t like to read. Well, duh.
    Anyway. I’ve heard that the proliferation of big-box stores and the disappearance of indie book stores has led directly to the increased power of bookclubs and lists. People feel daunted by the number of choices available to them in the big stores, and there’s no one to ask for a reccommendation except for Oprah. Buy one of her books (or one with a NYT quote on the front) and your choice is instantly validated. Doesn’t matter whether you actually LIKE the book or not, you have a lot of company so it’s okay.
    Of course this is a completely alien notion to us who can’t keep away from a pile of books if our lives depended on it…but then some people like the Yankees, too. *ggg*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  39. I’m constantly amazed by the number of successful, educated people who just…don’t….read. They’ve got great big fancy houses, but there’s nary a bookshelf inside (except for the ones holding the DVDs.) I’m not tossing brickbats at some nebulous group, either — I’m talking about people who graduated from college with me. And they’re the same ones who end up paying top-dollar to learning tutors for their children because those children don’t like to read. Well, duh.
    Anyway. I’ve heard that the proliferation of big-box stores and the disappearance of indie book stores has led directly to the increased power of bookclubs and lists. People feel daunted by the number of choices available to them in the big stores, and there’s no one to ask for a reccommendation except for Oprah. Buy one of her books (or one with a NYT quote on the front) and your choice is instantly validated. Doesn’t matter whether you actually LIKE the book or not, you have a lot of company so it’s okay.
    Of course this is a completely alien notion to us who can’t keep away from a pile of books if our lives depended on it…but then some people like the Yankees, too. *ggg*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  40. I’m constantly amazed by the number of successful, educated people who just…don’t….read. They’ve got great big fancy houses, but there’s nary a bookshelf inside (except for the ones holding the DVDs.) I’m not tossing brickbats at some nebulous group, either — I’m talking about people who graduated from college with me. And they’re the same ones who end up paying top-dollar to learning tutors for their children because those children don’t like to read. Well, duh.
    Anyway. I’ve heard that the proliferation of big-box stores and the disappearance of indie book stores has led directly to the increased power of bookclubs and lists. People feel daunted by the number of choices available to them in the big stores, and there’s no one to ask for a reccommendation except for Oprah. Buy one of her books (or one with a NYT quote on the front) and your choice is instantly validated. Doesn’t matter whether you actually LIKE the book or not, you have a lot of company so it’s okay.
    Of course this is a completely alien notion to us who can’t keep away from a pile of books if our lives depended on it…but then some people like the Yankees, too. *ggg*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  41. I’ve become so spoiled lately by access to online reviews and excerpts, and I’m so pressed for time, that I seldom ever browse a bookstore these days. It’s a shame, because that’s how I discovered Pratchett, and I’d love to find more authors able to suck me into their worlds as he does. But by reading reviews and exchanging names with friends with similar tastes, I think I stay on top of what’s new out there, at least as well as I used to do in my total ignorance, scanning store shelves. And by reading reviews, I can buy new authors, regardless of covers. “G”
    I have never tried to fathom people who don’t read. I assume, to them, I am unfathomable because I don’t watch sports and barely watch TV. I guess it’s a good thing that there are lots of people out there and we’re all different!

    Reply
  42. I’ve become so spoiled lately by access to online reviews and excerpts, and I’m so pressed for time, that I seldom ever browse a bookstore these days. It’s a shame, because that’s how I discovered Pratchett, and I’d love to find more authors able to suck me into their worlds as he does. But by reading reviews and exchanging names with friends with similar tastes, I think I stay on top of what’s new out there, at least as well as I used to do in my total ignorance, scanning store shelves. And by reading reviews, I can buy new authors, regardless of covers. “G”
    I have never tried to fathom people who don’t read. I assume, to them, I am unfathomable because I don’t watch sports and barely watch TV. I guess it’s a good thing that there are lots of people out there and we’re all different!

    Reply
  43. I’ve become so spoiled lately by access to online reviews and excerpts, and I’m so pressed for time, that I seldom ever browse a bookstore these days. It’s a shame, because that’s how I discovered Pratchett, and I’d love to find more authors able to suck me into their worlds as he does. But by reading reviews and exchanging names with friends with similar tastes, I think I stay on top of what’s new out there, at least as well as I used to do in my total ignorance, scanning store shelves. And by reading reviews, I can buy new authors, regardless of covers. “G”
    I have never tried to fathom people who don’t read. I assume, to them, I am unfathomable because I don’t watch sports and barely watch TV. I guess it’s a good thing that there are lots of people out there and we’re all different!

    Reply
  44. I’ve become so spoiled lately by access to online reviews and excerpts, and I’m so pressed for time, that I seldom ever browse a bookstore these days. It’s a shame, because that’s how I discovered Pratchett, and I’d love to find more authors able to suck me into their worlds as he does. But by reading reviews and exchanging names with friends with similar tastes, I think I stay on top of what’s new out there, at least as well as I used to do in my total ignorance, scanning store shelves. And by reading reviews, I can buy new authors, regardless of covers. “G”
    I have never tried to fathom people who don’t read. I assume, to them, I am unfathomable because I don’t watch sports and barely watch TV. I guess it’s a good thing that there are lots of people out there and we’re all different!

    Reply
  45. Kalen, I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.
    There’s a reason why the poor clients always scream, weep, and swear when they see the final results…..
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  46. Kalen, I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.
    There’s a reason why the poor clients always scream, weep, and swear when they see the final results…..
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  47. Kalen, I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.
    There’s a reason why the poor clients always scream, weep, and swear when they see the final results…..
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  48. Kalen, I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.
    There’s a reason why the poor clients always scream, weep, and swear when they see the final results…..
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  49. I like to browse first in libraries, then hit the stores. It’s intriguing titles that usually make me pull something off the shelf. Libraries where I live can be a bit frustrating because they’re so underfunded. The buildings can be gorgeous, the community anted up for that, but inside, no books. Ground has been broken on a beautiful new library in my town. I mentioned to *someone* my concern over the pretty building/no books syndrome and she wondered why I cared saying, ” Only poor people use libraries.”
    I almost shoved a book down her throat, in honor of Marie Antoinette and the fabled cake.

    Reply
  50. I like to browse first in libraries, then hit the stores. It’s intriguing titles that usually make me pull something off the shelf. Libraries where I live can be a bit frustrating because they’re so underfunded. The buildings can be gorgeous, the community anted up for that, but inside, no books. Ground has been broken on a beautiful new library in my town. I mentioned to *someone* my concern over the pretty building/no books syndrome and she wondered why I cared saying, ” Only poor people use libraries.”
    I almost shoved a book down her throat, in honor of Marie Antoinette and the fabled cake.

    Reply
  51. I like to browse first in libraries, then hit the stores. It’s intriguing titles that usually make me pull something off the shelf. Libraries where I live can be a bit frustrating because they’re so underfunded. The buildings can be gorgeous, the community anted up for that, but inside, no books. Ground has been broken on a beautiful new library in my town. I mentioned to *someone* my concern over the pretty building/no books syndrome and she wondered why I cared saying, ” Only poor people use libraries.”
    I almost shoved a book down her throat, in honor of Marie Antoinette and the fabled cake.

    Reply
  52. I like to browse first in libraries, then hit the stores. It’s intriguing titles that usually make me pull something off the shelf. Libraries where I live can be a bit frustrating because they’re so underfunded. The buildings can be gorgeous, the community anted up for that, but inside, no books. Ground has been broken on a beautiful new library in my town. I mentioned to *someone* my concern over the pretty building/no books syndrome and she wondered why I cared saying, ” Only poor people use libraries.”
    I almost shoved a book down her throat, in honor of Marie Antoinette and the fabled cake.

    Reply
  53. My dh doesn’t read much. He watches. NetFlix. It’s because he has such bad visual dyslexia that reading is more work than fun. He didn’t truly learn to read properly until college.
    But he struggles through his favorites, like John Irving.

    Reply
  54. My dh doesn’t read much. He watches. NetFlix. It’s because he has such bad visual dyslexia that reading is more work than fun. He didn’t truly learn to read properly until college.
    But he struggles through his favorites, like John Irving.

    Reply
  55. My dh doesn’t read much. He watches. NetFlix. It’s because he has such bad visual dyslexia that reading is more work than fun. He didn’t truly learn to read properly until college.
    But he struggles through his favorites, like John Irving.

    Reply
  56. My dh doesn’t read much. He watches. NetFlix. It’s because he has such bad visual dyslexia that reading is more work than fun. He didn’t truly learn to read properly until college.
    But he struggles through his favorites, like John Irving.

    Reply
  57. All true,Edith, especially about the people who are buying repackaged Harlequins. I’m told that it’s not uncommon for people to go into book stores and ask for more books by such-and-such. But when they’re taken to the romance section, they’re shocked and horrified.
    No, they don’t then say, “Oh, clearly romance novels are not what I thought.” It’s more like, “Ugh, I’m contaminated. Unfair! Abuse! Help me!” *G*
    Perhaps it was just one incident, but you know, I doubt it. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Sorry, Edith, I seem to have riffed off your topic, but it’s sort of related. People really should be open to at least trying all sorts of books if they consider themselves readers.
    There’s nothing quite like the Miles books,Michelle, but you might want to try Catherine Asaro and Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Liaden books. The former can probably be found in the library, which is where I do a lot of my sampling. I’m much more free-wheeling when I’m not risking money. I’ll grab 6 unknown experiments at a time without a qualm.
    The Lee & Miller are less likely to be in the library, but they do have e-books on the website, which is another way of cheap sampling. I’m not ready to read a whole book on my computer screen, but I’ll read excerpts and even sample books that way.
    http://www.liaden.com
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  58. All true,Edith, especially about the people who are buying repackaged Harlequins. I’m told that it’s not uncommon for people to go into book stores and ask for more books by such-and-such. But when they’re taken to the romance section, they’re shocked and horrified.
    No, they don’t then say, “Oh, clearly romance novels are not what I thought.” It’s more like, “Ugh, I’m contaminated. Unfair! Abuse! Help me!” *G*
    Perhaps it was just one incident, but you know, I doubt it. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Sorry, Edith, I seem to have riffed off your topic, but it’s sort of related. People really should be open to at least trying all sorts of books if they consider themselves readers.
    There’s nothing quite like the Miles books,Michelle, but you might want to try Catherine Asaro and Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Liaden books. The former can probably be found in the library, which is where I do a lot of my sampling. I’m much more free-wheeling when I’m not risking money. I’ll grab 6 unknown experiments at a time without a qualm.
    The Lee & Miller are less likely to be in the library, but they do have e-books on the website, which is another way of cheap sampling. I’m not ready to read a whole book on my computer screen, but I’ll read excerpts and even sample books that way.
    http://www.liaden.com
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  59. All true,Edith, especially about the people who are buying repackaged Harlequins. I’m told that it’s not uncommon for people to go into book stores and ask for more books by such-and-such. But when they’re taken to the romance section, they’re shocked and horrified.
    No, they don’t then say, “Oh, clearly romance novels are not what I thought.” It’s more like, “Ugh, I’m contaminated. Unfair! Abuse! Help me!” *G*
    Perhaps it was just one incident, but you know, I doubt it. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Sorry, Edith, I seem to have riffed off your topic, but it’s sort of related. People really should be open to at least trying all sorts of books if they consider themselves readers.
    There’s nothing quite like the Miles books,Michelle, but you might want to try Catherine Asaro and Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Liaden books. The former can probably be found in the library, which is where I do a lot of my sampling. I’m much more free-wheeling when I’m not risking money. I’ll grab 6 unknown experiments at a time without a qualm.
    The Lee & Miller are less likely to be in the library, but they do have e-books on the website, which is another way of cheap sampling. I’m not ready to read a whole book on my computer screen, but I’ll read excerpts and even sample books that way.
    http://www.liaden.com
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  60. All true,Edith, especially about the people who are buying repackaged Harlequins. I’m told that it’s not uncommon for people to go into book stores and ask for more books by such-and-such. But when they’re taken to the romance section, they’re shocked and horrified.
    No, they don’t then say, “Oh, clearly romance novels are not what I thought.” It’s more like, “Ugh, I’m contaminated. Unfair! Abuse! Help me!” *G*
    Perhaps it was just one incident, but you know, I doubt it. Any thoughts, anyone?
    Sorry, Edith, I seem to have riffed off your topic, but it’s sort of related. People really should be open to at least trying all sorts of books if they consider themselves readers.
    There’s nothing quite like the Miles books,Michelle, but you might want to try Catherine Asaro and Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Liaden books. The former can probably be found in the library, which is where I do a lot of my sampling. I’m much more free-wheeling when I’m not risking money. I’ll grab 6 unknown experiments at a time without a qualm.
    The Lee & Miller are less likely to be in the library, but they do have e-books on the website, which is another way of cheap sampling. I’m not ready to read a whole book on my computer screen, but I’ll read excerpts and even sample books that way.
    http://www.liaden.com
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  61. “Only poor people use libraries.”
    Wow – that’s the most ignorant comment I’ve heard in a long, long time. I don’t know what I’d say in that situation.
    My library is used by poor people and rich people and seniors and little kids and students. Doesn’t this person care that libraries are where little kids learn to read?

    Reply
  62. “Only poor people use libraries.”
    Wow – that’s the most ignorant comment I’ve heard in a long, long time. I don’t know what I’d say in that situation.
    My library is used by poor people and rich people and seniors and little kids and students. Doesn’t this person care that libraries are where little kids learn to read?

    Reply
  63. “Only poor people use libraries.”
    Wow – that’s the most ignorant comment I’ve heard in a long, long time. I don’t know what I’d say in that situation.
    My library is used by poor people and rich people and seniors and little kids and students. Doesn’t this person care that libraries are where little kids learn to read?

    Reply
  64. “Only poor people use libraries.”
    Wow – that’s the most ignorant comment I’ve heard in a long, long time. I don’t know what I’d say in that situation.
    My library is used by poor people and rich people and seniors and little kids and students. Doesn’t this person care that libraries are where little kids learn to read?

    Reply
  65. I was introduced to books in the Library. A trip the the library in 2nd grade. I’d be “lost” without a book to read. When I find a new writer that I like , I try to find all of their backlist. Find some excellent books that way.

    Reply
  66. I was introduced to books in the Library. A trip the the library in 2nd grade. I’d be “lost” without a book to read. When I find a new writer that I like , I try to find all of their backlist. Find some excellent books that way.

    Reply
  67. I was introduced to books in the Library. A trip the the library in 2nd grade. I’d be “lost” without a book to read. When I find a new writer that I like , I try to find all of their backlist. Find some excellent books that way.

    Reply
  68. I was introduced to books in the Library. A trip the the library in 2nd grade. I’d be “lost” without a book to read. When I find a new writer that I like , I try to find all of their backlist. Find some excellent books that way.

    Reply
  69. I love libraries too but I always forget to return books, so it turns into an expensive proposition for me.
    Speaking of monetary concerns….
    How about we find a way to have libraries pay authors some teensey royalties each time a book is lent out, as they do, I hear in GB? Or, at least, send a thank you note to them?

    Reply
  70. I love libraries too but I always forget to return books, so it turns into an expensive proposition for me.
    Speaking of monetary concerns….
    How about we find a way to have libraries pay authors some teensey royalties each time a book is lent out, as they do, I hear in GB? Or, at least, send a thank you note to them?

    Reply
  71. I love libraries too but I always forget to return books, so it turns into an expensive proposition for me.
    Speaking of monetary concerns….
    How about we find a way to have libraries pay authors some teensey royalties each time a book is lent out, as they do, I hear in GB? Or, at least, send a thank you note to them?

    Reply
  72. I love libraries too but I always forget to return books, so it turns into an expensive proposition for me.
    Speaking of monetary concerns….
    How about we find a way to have libraries pay authors some teensey royalties each time a book is lent out, as they do, I hear in GB? Or, at least, send a thank you note to them?

    Reply
  73. For the Liadens, I think you might want to try http://www.korval.com as Jo’s link seems to be 404 for me 🙂
    The e-books are available from Baen’s Webscriptions thingy (http://www.webscription.net/s-117-sharon-lee.aspx will get you there) in various formats including HTML. Only big fat bundles at $20 rather than the individual titles, are available for purchase at the moment it seems. However generous amounts of sample chapters (like 8 or so per book) are provided so you should be able to tell whether they’re worth it for you, just click down to the individual book.
    From memory, the main story arc goes: Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change — either one of those two is good place to start, but you’ll want to read both before you get to — Carpe Diem, then Plan B, then I Dare.
    Fledging, currently being written in plain sight on a high wire without a safety net (they’re up to chapter 12 at the moment on the website) is a donation driven side novel that’ll end at the same point as I Dare. Put some money in the pot if you like what you see.
    Local Custom & Scout’s Progress are pretty standalone prequels, about the previous generation of Clan Korval. Definitely romances. Balance of Trade is a standalone side novel in the same universe but doesn’t involve Clan Korval, a coming of age story, not a romance.
    Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon are the universe’s origin story I think (I haven’t read Crystal Dragon yet), save those for last.
    For buying actual dead tree versions, getting them directly from the authors is probably your best bet at the moment, since their publisher went financially kablooie recently, but they rescued a pile of books from the wreckage:
    http://www.korval.com/specialbooks.htm

    PS: Why can I not use html tags in comments, but get the links if I type the url raw? weird!

    Reply
  74. For the Liadens, I think you might want to try http://www.korval.com as Jo’s link seems to be 404 for me 🙂
    The e-books are available from Baen’s Webscriptions thingy (http://www.webscription.net/s-117-sharon-lee.aspx will get you there) in various formats including HTML. Only big fat bundles at $20 rather than the individual titles, are available for purchase at the moment it seems. However generous amounts of sample chapters (like 8 or so per book) are provided so you should be able to tell whether they’re worth it for you, just click down to the individual book.
    From memory, the main story arc goes: Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change — either one of those two is good place to start, but you’ll want to read both before you get to — Carpe Diem, then Plan B, then I Dare.
    Fledging, currently being written in plain sight on a high wire without a safety net (they’re up to chapter 12 at the moment on the website) is a donation driven side novel that’ll end at the same point as I Dare. Put some money in the pot if you like what you see.
    Local Custom & Scout’s Progress are pretty standalone prequels, about the previous generation of Clan Korval. Definitely romances. Balance of Trade is a standalone side novel in the same universe but doesn’t involve Clan Korval, a coming of age story, not a romance.
    Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon are the universe’s origin story I think (I haven’t read Crystal Dragon yet), save those for last.
    For buying actual dead tree versions, getting them directly from the authors is probably your best bet at the moment, since their publisher went financially kablooie recently, but they rescued a pile of books from the wreckage:
    http://www.korval.com/specialbooks.htm

    PS: Why can I not use html tags in comments, but get the links if I type the url raw? weird!

    Reply
  75. For the Liadens, I think you might want to try http://www.korval.com as Jo’s link seems to be 404 for me 🙂
    The e-books are available from Baen’s Webscriptions thingy (http://www.webscription.net/s-117-sharon-lee.aspx will get you there) in various formats including HTML. Only big fat bundles at $20 rather than the individual titles, are available for purchase at the moment it seems. However generous amounts of sample chapters (like 8 or so per book) are provided so you should be able to tell whether they’re worth it for you, just click down to the individual book.
    From memory, the main story arc goes: Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change — either one of those two is good place to start, but you’ll want to read both before you get to — Carpe Diem, then Plan B, then I Dare.
    Fledging, currently being written in plain sight on a high wire without a safety net (they’re up to chapter 12 at the moment on the website) is a donation driven side novel that’ll end at the same point as I Dare. Put some money in the pot if you like what you see.
    Local Custom & Scout’s Progress are pretty standalone prequels, about the previous generation of Clan Korval. Definitely romances. Balance of Trade is a standalone side novel in the same universe but doesn’t involve Clan Korval, a coming of age story, not a romance.
    Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon are the universe’s origin story I think (I haven’t read Crystal Dragon yet), save those for last.
    For buying actual dead tree versions, getting them directly from the authors is probably your best bet at the moment, since their publisher went financially kablooie recently, but they rescued a pile of books from the wreckage:
    http://www.korval.com/specialbooks.htm

    PS: Why can I not use html tags in comments, but get the links if I type the url raw? weird!

    Reply
  76. For the Liadens, I think you might want to try http://www.korval.com as Jo’s link seems to be 404 for me 🙂
    The e-books are available from Baen’s Webscriptions thingy (http://www.webscription.net/s-117-sharon-lee.aspx will get you there) in various formats including HTML. Only big fat bundles at $20 rather than the individual titles, are available for purchase at the moment it seems. However generous amounts of sample chapters (like 8 or so per book) are provided so you should be able to tell whether they’re worth it for you, just click down to the individual book.
    From memory, the main story arc goes: Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change — either one of those two is good place to start, but you’ll want to read both before you get to — Carpe Diem, then Plan B, then I Dare.
    Fledging, currently being written in plain sight on a high wire without a safety net (they’re up to chapter 12 at the moment on the website) is a donation driven side novel that’ll end at the same point as I Dare. Put some money in the pot if you like what you see.
    Local Custom & Scout’s Progress are pretty standalone prequels, about the previous generation of Clan Korval. Definitely romances. Balance of Trade is a standalone side novel in the same universe but doesn’t involve Clan Korval, a coming of age story, not a romance.
    Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon are the universe’s origin story I think (I haven’t read Crystal Dragon yet), save those for last.
    For buying actual dead tree versions, getting them directly from the authors is probably your best bet at the moment, since their publisher went financially kablooie recently, but they rescued a pile of books from the wreckage:
    http://www.korval.com/specialbooks.htm

    PS: Why can I not use html tags in comments, but get the links if I type the url raw? weird!

    Reply
  77. I’ve gotten a bit more conservative buying books lately (that means my husband is beyond irritated with the $$ I spend on “researching the market”) and I am less apt to buy something I haven’t seen or heard recommended. And then, more than likely, I don’t really like it anyway. Oh dear. I am a snob.
    While it is very hard to walk away from those monthly new releases, I’ve read some of the authors before and know they do not especially inspire me. I am, however, really interested in new authors, since I hope to become one.
    The last author I picked up (on a whim, in an airport) was Paul Levine (Solomon and Lord series, which I’m now completely addicted to). I found Lauren Wittig from her gorgeous cover and Eloisa James quote.
    Don’t worry. You Wenches remain on my auto-buy list. Loretta, NQAL was well worth the “research dollars!”

    Reply
  78. I’ve gotten a bit more conservative buying books lately (that means my husband is beyond irritated with the $$ I spend on “researching the market”) and I am less apt to buy something I haven’t seen or heard recommended. And then, more than likely, I don’t really like it anyway. Oh dear. I am a snob.
    While it is very hard to walk away from those monthly new releases, I’ve read some of the authors before and know they do not especially inspire me. I am, however, really interested in new authors, since I hope to become one.
    The last author I picked up (on a whim, in an airport) was Paul Levine (Solomon and Lord series, which I’m now completely addicted to). I found Lauren Wittig from her gorgeous cover and Eloisa James quote.
    Don’t worry. You Wenches remain on my auto-buy list. Loretta, NQAL was well worth the “research dollars!”

    Reply
  79. I’ve gotten a bit more conservative buying books lately (that means my husband is beyond irritated with the $$ I spend on “researching the market”) and I am less apt to buy something I haven’t seen or heard recommended. And then, more than likely, I don’t really like it anyway. Oh dear. I am a snob.
    While it is very hard to walk away from those monthly new releases, I’ve read some of the authors before and know they do not especially inspire me. I am, however, really interested in new authors, since I hope to become one.
    The last author I picked up (on a whim, in an airport) was Paul Levine (Solomon and Lord series, which I’m now completely addicted to). I found Lauren Wittig from her gorgeous cover and Eloisa James quote.
    Don’t worry. You Wenches remain on my auto-buy list. Loretta, NQAL was well worth the “research dollars!”

    Reply
  80. I’ve gotten a bit more conservative buying books lately (that means my husband is beyond irritated with the $$ I spend on “researching the market”) and I am less apt to buy something I haven’t seen or heard recommended. And then, more than likely, I don’t really like it anyway. Oh dear. I am a snob.
    While it is very hard to walk away from those monthly new releases, I’ve read some of the authors before and know they do not especially inspire me. I am, however, really interested in new authors, since I hope to become one.
    The last author I picked up (on a whim, in an airport) was Paul Levine (Solomon and Lord series, which I’m now completely addicted to). I found Lauren Wittig from her gorgeous cover and Eloisa James quote.
    Don’t worry. You Wenches remain on my auto-buy list. Loretta, NQAL was well worth the “research dollars!”

    Reply
  81. Wow. Well – hate to quote the research at you…but….
    the largest user group of public libraries in North American is upper middle class women (I can provide citations, but you don’t really want them).
    Not the ‘poor’, although perhaps the most compelling core value of the library profession is equal access…and there are tons of great stories of rags to riches based on access to a public library….
    Ok, feet are clean now. Soap box put away for next time.
    And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers….I fit that profile as do many of my colleagues and friends….junkies, that’s what we are….

    Reply
  82. Wow. Well – hate to quote the research at you…but….
    the largest user group of public libraries in North American is upper middle class women (I can provide citations, but you don’t really want them).
    Not the ‘poor’, although perhaps the most compelling core value of the library profession is equal access…and there are tons of great stories of rags to riches based on access to a public library….
    Ok, feet are clean now. Soap box put away for next time.
    And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers….I fit that profile as do many of my colleagues and friends….junkies, that’s what we are….

    Reply
  83. Wow. Well – hate to quote the research at you…but….
    the largest user group of public libraries in North American is upper middle class women (I can provide citations, but you don’t really want them).
    Not the ‘poor’, although perhaps the most compelling core value of the library profession is equal access…and there are tons of great stories of rags to riches based on access to a public library….
    Ok, feet are clean now. Soap box put away for next time.
    And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers….I fit that profile as do many of my colleagues and friends….junkies, that’s what we are….

    Reply
  84. Wow. Well – hate to quote the research at you…but….
    the largest user group of public libraries in North American is upper middle class women (I can provide citations, but you don’t really want them).
    Not the ‘poor’, although perhaps the most compelling core value of the library profession is equal access…and there are tons of great stories of rags to riches based on access to a public library….
    Ok, feet are clean now. Soap box put away for next time.
    And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers….I fit that profile as do many of my colleagues and friends….junkies, that’s what we are….

    Reply
  85. “I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out . . . and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    I saw this in the new Martha Stewart rag, BLUEPRINT, and was horrified. Yes it looks pretty, but it assumes that books are no different than any other decorative object! Me? I’d skin the decorator alive.

    Reply
  86. “I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out . . . and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    I saw this in the new Martha Stewart rag, BLUEPRINT, and was horrified. Yes it looks pretty, but it assumes that books are no different than any other decorative object! Me? I’d skin the decorator alive.

    Reply
  87. “I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out . . . and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    I saw this in the new Martha Stewart rag, BLUEPRINT, and was horrified. Yes it looks pretty, but it assumes that books are no different than any other decorative object! Me? I’d skin the decorator alive.

    Reply
  88. “I saw one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out . . . and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    I saw this in the new Martha Stewart rag, BLUEPRINT, and was horrified. Yes it looks pretty, but it assumes that books are no different than any other decorative object! Me? I’d skin the decorator alive.

    Reply
  89. >>And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.>>
    Oh! How good to hear! But it makes sense. Thanks for letting me know.

    Reply
  90. >>And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.>>
    Oh! How good to hear! But it makes sense. Thanks for letting me know.

    Reply
  91. >>And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.>>
    Oh! How good to hear! But it makes sense. Thanks for letting me know.

    Reply
  92. >>And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.>>
    Oh! How good to hear! But it makes sense. Thanks for letting me know.

    Reply
  93. “one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    Or they say, “You’ve read these. It’s time to get rid of them.” What??!!
    I can feel a completely random book buying spree coming on. Usually, I’m very careful about making informed purchases because I don’t like to get stuck with stinkers. But you’ve inspired me! At least I think it’s inspiration; maybe it’s just an excuse. 😉

    Reply
  94. “one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    Or they say, “You’ve read these. It’s time to get rid of them.” What??!!
    I can feel a completely random book buying spree coming on. Usually, I’m very careful about making informed purchases because I don’t like to get stuck with stinkers. But you’ve inspired me! At least I think it’s inspiration; maybe it’s just an excuse. 😉

    Reply
  95. “one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    Or they say, “You’ve read these. It’s time to get rid of them.” What??!!
    I can feel a completely random book buying spree coming on. Usually, I’m very careful about making informed purchases because I don’t like to get stuck with stinkers. But you’ve inspired me! At least I think it’s inspiration; maybe it’s just an excuse. 😉

    Reply
  96. “one of these shows recently where the “decorator” had his assistant strip all the dust jackets from the client’s books and throw them out — “They’re only wrappers, like advertising” — and then sort the books for display by size and color of the spine.”
    Or they say, “You’ve read these. It’s time to get rid of them.” What??!!
    I can feel a completely random book buying spree coming on. Usually, I’m very careful about making informed purchases because I don’t like to get stuck with stinkers. But you’ve inspired me! At least I think it’s inspiration; maybe it’s just an excuse. 😉

    Reply
  97. “And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.”
    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I buy a lot of books, and I also make a weekly pilgrimage to my local branch library. I use the library for research (including heavy use of interlibrary loan), because those books tend to be obscure, expensive, and often out-of-print. I also use it to read books in hardcover that I know I’ll purchase once they’re released in paperback so I don’t have to wait an extra year to find out what happens in an ongoing series. And, yes, I do use it for leisure reading, because even with a solidly middle-class income my book budget isn’t infinite. I often use it to try out a new author, and then if I fall in love I buy her backlist and future releases. I also make a lot of purchase suggestions, and I’ve found the library buys around 80% of the titles I suggest and always gets at least 4 copies for the system even if I’m the only person nominating the book. So I feel like I’ve gotten the author four sales instead of the one they’d get if I ordered it on Amazon or picked it up at B&N.

    Reply
  98. “And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.”
    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I buy a lot of books, and I also make a weekly pilgrimage to my local branch library. I use the library for research (including heavy use of interlibrary loan), because those books tend to be obscure, expensive, and often out-of-print. I also use it to read books in hardcover that I know I’ll purchase once they’re released in paperback so I don’t have to wait an extra year to find out what happens in an ongoing series. And, yes, I do use it for leisure reading, because even with a solidly middle-class income my book budget isn’t infinite. I often use it to try out a new author, and then if I fall in love I buy her backlist and future releases. I also make a lot of purchase suggestions, and I’ve found the library buys around 80% of the titles I suggest and always gets at least 4 copies for the system even if I’m the only person nominating the book. So I feel like I’ve gotten the author four sales instead of the one they’d get if I ordered it on Amazon or picked it up at B&N.

    Reply
  99. “And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.”
    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I buy a lot of books, and I also make a weekly pilgrimage to my local branch library. I use the library for research (including heavy use of interlibrary loan), because those books tend to be obscure, expensive, and often out-of-print. I also use it to read books in hardcover that I know I’ll purchase once they’re released in paperback so I don’t have to wait an extra year to find out what happens in an ongoing series. And, yes, I do use it for leisure reading, because even with a solidly middle-class income my book budget isn’t infinite. I often use it to try out a new author, and then if I fall in love I buy her backlist and future releases. I also make a lot of purchase suggestions, and I’ve found the library buys around 80% of the titles I suggest and always gets at least 4 copies for the system even if I’m the only person nominating the book. So I feel like I’ve gotten the author four sales instead of the one they’d get if I ordered it on Amazon or picked it up at B&N.

    Reply
  100. “And actually – you may find that heavy library users are often ALSO your heavy book buyers.”
    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I buy a lot of books, and I also make a weekly pilgrimage to my local branch library. I use the library for research (including heavy use of interlibrary loan), because those books tend to be obscure, expensive, and often out-of-print. I also use it to read books in hardcover that I know I’ll purchase once they’re released in paperback so I don’t have to wait an extra year to find out what happens in an ongoing series. And, yes, I do use it for leisure reading, because even with a solidly middle-class income my book budget isn’t infinite. I often use it to try out a new author, and then if I fall in love I buy her backlist and future releases. I also make a lot of purchase suggestions, and I’ve found the library buys around 80% of the titles I suggest and always gets at least 4 copies for the system even if I’m the only person nominating the book. So I feel like I’ve gotten the author four sales instead of the one they’d get if I ordered it on Amazon or picked it up at B&N.

    Reply
  101. Edith, I used to be a snob–sneered horribly at romances. I was brainwashed, what can I say? And yet I read another genre, devotedly: mysteries. Nowadays, my snobbishness extends to avoiding Oprah books and those book club choices because I fear being bored or depressed by the story or disappointed by clunky prose. I like redemption and resolution and happily ever afters. Still, not all New Yorker, NYT, or even WSJ book choices are automatically rejected. While the fiction choices are rarely my cup of tea, I’ve found some wonderful non-fiction via these routes. And I love to browse–the bookstore, the library, and my friends’ bookshelves. You never know what treasure you’ll find.

    Reply
  102. Edith, I used to be a snob–sneered horribly at romances. I was brainwashed, what can I say? And yet I read another genre, devotedly: mysteries. Nowadays, my snobbishness extends to avoiding Oprah books and those book club choices because I fear being bored or depressed by the story or disappointed by clunky prose. I like redemption and resolution and happily ever afters. Still, not all New Yorker, NYT, or even WSJ book choices are automatically rejected. While the fiction choices are rarely my cup of tea, I’ve found some wonderful non-fiction via these routes. And I love to browse–the bookstore, the library, and my friends’ bookshelves. You never know what treasure you’ll find.

    Reply
  103. Edith, I used to be a snob–sneered horribly at romances. I was brainwashed, what can I say? And yet I read another genre, devotedly: mysteries. Nowadays, my snobbishness extends to avoiding Oprah books and those book club choices because I fear being bored or depressed by the story or disappointed by clunky prose. I like redemption and resolution and happily ever afters. Still, not all New Yorker, NYT, or even WSJ book choices are automatically rejected. While the fiction choices are rarely my cup of tea, I’ve found some wonderful non-fiction via these routes. And I love to browse–the bookstore, the library, and my friends’ bookshelves. You never know what treasure you’ll find.

    Reply
  104. Edith, I used to be a snob–sneered horribly at romances. I was brainwashed, what can I say? And yet I read another genre, devotedly: mysteries. Nowadays, my snobbishness extends to avoiding Oprah books and those book club choices because I fear being bored or depressed by the story or disappointed by clunky prose. I like redemption and resolution and happily ever afters. Still, not all New Yorker, NYT, or even WSJ book choices are automatically rejected. While the fiction choices are rarely my cup of tea, I’ve found some wonderful non-fiction via these routes. And I love to browse–the bookstore, the library, and my friends’ bookshelves. You never know what treasure you’ll find.

    Reply
  105. Thank you for reminding me, Loretta. I was perhaps a tad amiss when I chided readers for following the NYT’s recommendations too carefully.
    Sometimes, they can’t follow carefully enough.
    My son Adam Felber’s book: SCHRODINGER’S BALL, Random House Trade Paperback, got into the NYT daily and Sunday review sections, and they loved it both times.
    As they should. Everyone should buy it. At once. Without question.

    Reply
  106. Thank you for reminding me, Loretta. I was perhaps a tad amiss when I chided readers for following the NYT’s recommendations too carefully.
    Sometimes, they can’t follow carefully enough.
    My son Adam Felber’s book: SCHRODINGER’S BALL, Random House Trade Paperback, got into the NYT daily and Sunday review sections, and they loved it both times.
    As they should. Everyone should buy it. At once. Without question.

    Reply
  107. Thank you for reminding me, Loretta. I was perhaps a tad amiss when I chided readers for following the NYT’s recommendations too carefully.
    Sometimes, they can’t follow carefully enough.
    My son Adam Felber’s book: SCHRODINGER’S BALL, Random House Trade Paperback, got into the NYT daily and Sunday review sections, and they loved it both times.
    As they should. Everyone should buy it. At once. Without question.

    Reply
  108. Thank you for reminding me, Loretta. I was perhaps a tad amiss when I chided readers for following the NYT’s recommendations too carefully.
    Sometimes, they can’t follow carefully enough.
    My son Adam Felber’s book: SCHRODINGER’S BALL, Random House Trade Paperback, got into the NYT daily and Sunday review sections, and they loved it both times.
    As they should. Everyone should buy it. At once. Without question.

    Reply
  109. I have always loved libraries and rooms anywhere with lots and lots of books. In high school, I worked my way through the entire mystery section, discovering John Creasey, Ngaio Marsh and others. The romance section wasn’t so populated – and it was the 70s, after all – but I read through Emily Loring, Grace Livingston Hill, Mary Stewart… I still get to the library every few weeks, although mostly right now for non-fiction and books on tape. I’ve listened my way through the ones I wanted to “read” at four library branches so far, and am about to have to move on to a fifth.
    I saw one decorating show where a family had moved into a house with floor to ceiling shelves along one whole wall of the living room – and they had no idea what to do with them. I was screaming BUY BOOKS!! at the TV. That was not the decorator’s solution.
    One problem I have right now is that I’m buying books faster than I can read them, and I have such a backlog of TBRs that I forget what I have. A few times lately I’ve bought the same book twice. Grrr. But the local library benefits from my mistakes! I really need to declare a moratorium so my budget and reading time catch up to my book appetite.

    Reply
  110. I have always loved libraries and rooms anywhere with lots and lots of books. In high school, I worked my way through the entire mystery section, discovering John Creasey, Ngaio Marsh and others. The romance section wasn’t so populated – and it was the 70s, after all – but I read through Emily Loring, Grace Livingston Hill, Mary Stewart… I still get to the library every few weeks, although mostly right now for non-fiction and books on tape. I’ve listened my way through the ones I wanted to “read” at four library branches so far, and am about to have to move on to a fifth.
    I saw one decorating show where a family had moved into a house with floor to ceiling shelves along one whole wall of the living room – and they had no idea what to do with them. I was screaming BUY BOOKS!! at the TV. That was not the decorator’s solution.
    One problem I have right now is that I’m buying books faster than I can read them, and I have such a backlog of TBRs that I forget what I have. A few times lately I’ve bought the same book twice. Grrr. But the local library benefits from my mistakes! I really need to declare a moratorium so my budget and reading time catch up to my book appetite.

    Reply
  111. I have always loved libraries and rooms anywhere with lots and lots of books. In high school, I worked my way through the entire mystery section, discovering John Creasey, Ngaio Marsh and others. The romance section wasn’t so populated – and it was the 70s, after all – but I read through Emily Loring, Grace Livingston Hill, Mary Stewart… I still get to the library every few weeks, although mostly right now for non-fiction and books on tape. I’ve listened my way through the ones I wanted to “read” at four library branches so far, and am about to have to move on to a fifth.
    I saw one decorating show where a family had moved into a house with floor to ceiling shelves along one whole wall of the living room – and they had no idea what to do with them. I was screaming BUY BOOKS!! at the TV. That was not the decorator’s solution.
    One problem I have right now is that I’m buying books faster than I can read them, and I have such a backlog of TBRs that I forget what I have. A few times lately I’ve bought the same book twice. Grrr. But the local library benefits from my mistakes! I really need to declare a moratorium so my budget and reading time catch up to my book appetite.

    Reply
  112. I have always loved libraries and rooms anywhere with lots and lots of books. In high school, I worked my way through the entire mystery section, discovering John Creasey, Ngaio Marsh and others. The romance section wasn’t so populated – and it was the 70s, after all – but I read through Emily Loring, Grace Livingston Hill, Mary Stewart… I still get to the library every few weeks, although mostly right now for non-fiction and books on tape. I’ve listened my way through the ones I wanted to “read” at four library branches so far, and am about to have to move on to a fifth.
    I saw one decorating show where a family had moved into a house with floor to ceiling shelves along one whole wall of the living room – and they had no idea what to do with them. I was screaming BUY BOOKS!! at the TV. That was not the decorator’s solution.
    One problem I have right now is that I’m buying books faster than I can read them, and I have such a backlog of TBRs that I forget what I have. A few times lately I’ve bought the same book twice. Grrr. But the local library benefits from my mistakes! I really need to declare a moratorium so my budget and reading time catch up to my book appetite.

    Reply
  113. What’s funny for me is that I just got back into SF because a romance fan list recommended Lois McMaster Bujold, and I was in the bookstore and I saw a book by Connie Willis that I’d never read, and it just snowballed.
    But dipping my little toe into SF fandom and I hit this snobbery about romance novels. Because of course SF is a genre for smart people and romance is trash? I don’t get it, especially since I know so many romance readers read SF. I hope I just hit the wrong part of the SF community.

    Reply
  114. What’s funny for me is that I just got back into SF because a romance fan list recommended Lois McMaster Bujold, and I was in the bookstore and I saw a book by Connie Willis that I’d never read, and it just snowballed.
    But dipping my little toe into SF fandom and I hit this snobbery about romance novels. Because of course SF is a genre for smart people and romance is trash? I don’t get it, especially since I know so many romance readers read SF. I hope I just hit the wrong part of the SF community.

    Reply
  115. What’s funny for me is that I just got back into SF because a romance fan list recommended Lois McMaster Bujold, and I was in the bookstore and I saw a book by Connie Willis that I’d never read, and it just snowballed.
    But dipping my little toe into SF fandom and I hit this snobbery about romance novels. Because of course SF is a genre for smart people and romance is trash? I don’t get it, especially since I know so many romance readers read SF. I hope I just hit the wrong part of the SF community.

    Reply
  116. What’s funny for me is that I just got back into SF because a romance fan list recommended Lois McMaster Bujold, and I was in the bookstore and I saw a book by Connie Willis that I’d never read, and it just snowballed.
    But dipping my little toe into SF fandom and I hit this snobbery about romance novels. Because of course SF is a genre for smart people and romance is trash? I don’t get it, especially since I know so many romance readers read SF. I hope I just hit the wrong part of the SF community.

    Reply
  117. Rosa, everyone on the planet thinks they are a wee bit better than everyone else.
    Losing yourself in a book that pleases you is a wonderful thing, and anyone – anyone – who scorns what you read is a dolt. That’s it.
    (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, are just plain dopes.)
    IMHO

    Reply
  118. Rosa, everyone on the planet thinks they are a wee bit better than everyone else.
    Losing yourself in a book that pleases you is a wonderful thing, and anyone – anyone – who scorns what you read is a dolt. That’s it.
    (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, are just plain dopes.)
    IMHO

    Reply
  119. Rosa, everyone on the planet thinks they are a wee bit better than everyone else.
    Losing yourself in a book that pleases you is a wonderful thing, and anyone – anyone – who scorns what you read is a dolt. That’s it.
    (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, are just plain dopes.)
    IMHO

    Reply
  120. Rosa, everyone on the planet thinks they are a wee bit better than everyone else.
    Losing yourself in a book that pleases you is a wonderful thing, and anyone – anyone – who scorns what you read is a dolt. That’s it.
    (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, are just plain dopes.)
    IMHO

    Reply
  121. What I meant to say is:
    ” (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, and then proceed to scorn us – are just plain dopes.)

    Reply
  122. What I meant to say is:
    ” (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, and then proceed to scorn us – are just plain dopes.)

    Reply
  123. What I meant to say is:
    ” (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, and then proceed to scorn us – are just plain dopes.)

    Reply
  124. What I meant to say is:
    ” (And folks who have been scorned because of the “bug eyed monster” label as much as we have been because of the “bodice ripper” title, and then proceed to scorn us – are just plain dopes.)

    Reply

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