Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Never Ending Hunt

I spend a considerable amount of time looking for books. Browsing new and use bookstores. Searching online. Talking to people who read a lot and looking for recommendations. When you read as much as I do, you have to be constantly replenishing the 'to be read' pile. That pile is a little small at the moment and it makes me nervous. A friend of mine once compared me to a shark, the way that they have to keep swimming or they'll die. He said I was that way about books. I had to be constantly looking for new books or I'd go under. There are days I think that's not far from the truth.
Thing is, even though it seems to most folks that I'll read just about anything, the truth is that I'm actually kind of picky. I dislike more stuff than I like. I'm pretty much a believer in Sturgeon's Law, that 95% of everything is crap. You really have to dig to get that 5% that's the good stuff. So I read and I re-read and I look for more books.
I'm in a slow spot just now. Most of my favorite authors have books in the pipeline. Robert B. Parker has a Sunny Randall book due soon and a Spenser novel set for the fall. Andrew Vachss has a new Burke novel, also due in autumn. Michael Moorcock has a new collection on the way, and some interesting non fiction as well. I'm a couple of Jonathan Kellerman books behind, but his are somewhat hit or miss. I know of at least two short story collections I need to pick up, but that's not quite the same as reading novels. Can't really get lost in a short story.
Non fiction wise, I have exhausted my obsession with Vikings. I need some new historical period to study. I don't choose those, though. They choose me. Something will turn up. History is a big place.
But in the meantime I am searching, and keeping an eye on the dwindling 'to be read' pile.

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