Sunday, March 11, 2012


I was wondering what I should blog about today and while my mind remained blank, my gaze fell upon my keeper shelf. I'm lucky enough to have build in book shelves in the room I've taken for my writing office.  Most of the books on my keeper shelf are hard backs of various genres.  My focus on writing is mostly on fantasy though I still have some romance novels working.  My keeper shelf is filled with fantasy novels.  I noticed the shelves have become disorganized, mostly because my eldest son is constantly taking down a few of the books and reading them and then putting them back carelessly.  But the top shelf is till neatly in order. Why?
from FB

I realized the books on the top shelf haven't moved much in the last year or more.  Why? Because I haven't reread them and now I realize I probably never will.  They are hard-backed books which means they cost a bit.  I couldn't wait for them to come out in mass market and all of them had been purchased before I had my ereader.  I sat up late into the night reading some of them and now I can't remember why I so eagerly anticipated their release.  They're well-written books by successful authors but I have no current desire to read them again. It's my taste that has changed. 

New authors have won my heart. I can't wait for Brandon Sanderson's next novel.  Brent Weeks has earned his way onto my keeper shelf. I've really enjoyed Paul Hoffman's dark fantasy series.  Peter V. Brett had been keeping me impatiently waiting for his next book.  In the past year I've passed up new books by authors I've followed with unwavering devotion in years gone by.  They haven't changed the quality of their writing but I've abandoned them. Why?

I think there are two reasons. The first might be that they still write the same type of stories as they always have.  For some of them, their books have started to sound too similar with plots barely reworked from their previous books.  Perhaps they've had a recurring character who seems to make the same mistakes or encounters the same challenges as in the past.  They're just not new enough and I feel cheated or bored.

A second reason might be my desire to read new authors and discover what voices and plots are currently popular with the fantasy audience.  Many of the stories I've sought out recently have darker plots as good battles evil.  Some have magic used in ways I've never considered.  I'm amazed at the creativity and imagination of some of these writers.  Brandon Sanderson amazes me with the scope of the tales he weaves, his world creation so intricate and full of depth I beyond envious of his talent.

So some of my reading habits have changed.  Have you stopped reading a favorite author and why? For what reasons? What draws you to a new writer and then keeps you as a fan? 


  1. I'm the same - I'm less 'loyal' to particular authors because I want to devour as much as possible and as broadly as possible too. I think that some authors end up making their novels a lot like a TV series, where the exact same forums is used with interchangeable bad guys and locations.

    On the subject of Sanderson, I have the way of kings part 1 on my bookshelf and I am so excited to get stuck in :)

  2. Susan, I know exactly what you mean. I quit reading many authors because of series fatigue. The only exceptions are autographed copies by my author friends. They will always be keepers.

  3. I won't name them but one author put out so many books that they lost something - seemed they were selling on their name rather than the quality of the book. Another moved from Fantasy to more of a Sci Fi theme. I like swords, not laser stun guns.

  4. This has happened a few times to me, authors I have loved in the past just seem to turn out the same plots with different character names. I wonder if they've lost that zest for writing, or if their publishers demand it, knowing there is a built in market for the work.

  5. I have two collections of hardback books, and I doubt I'll reread any of them. (It's rare I reread a book.) And with my iPad, I'm no longer adding to the collection.
    I still have my favorites, but you're right, after so many books, they do start to sound repetitive. Now that I only read eBooks, which tend to be cheaper, I try new authors more often. Found some good ones as well!

  6. I HAD HAD HAD to own The Host by Stephenie Meyer, b/c the first time I read it I thought it would be classified as a modern classic. I still love the plot and storyline/setting, but once I settled down to read it a second time, I just couldn't get into it again. I think what's missing are those pithy little quotes and descriptions that draw me repeatedly back to the CLASSIC classics (like Gone W/the Wind). Books today don't often have that kind of depth and description.

  7. Jamie, I know you'll like Way of Kings I. It's a big book but it's hard to put down.
    Dennis, I have a keeper shelf just for the books of my author friends too.
    Michael, I know what you mean. I have one author I loved in their early work and I never pick up their stuff now.

  8. Sarah, I think you make a good point about some authors get stuck writing the same thing over and over again because their publisher wants more of what sold in the past.
    Alex, I'm also more prone to try new authors because of ebooks.
    Heather, I read the classics too. Sometimes I wonder though if some of them could even get published today. Would current publishers put up with the slow starts found in those books?

  9. Great post. I find my favourite authors change depending on my mood and what's going on with my life. I definitley have some staples I rely on though - Anne McCaffrey, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, and Terry O'Dell never let me down. :)

  10. I like discovering new favorites as well. I may get into a series, but if I find them becoming formulaic or repetitive I end it there.

  11. I'm not sure my reading habits have changed. Actually they have a bit come to think of it. I read wider than I ever used to, but, I still read the new books by the authors I love. So what happens to the new authors coming in who I find I also love? I get myself in a position where I have far too many books to read and not enough time, but I keep going. I have a huge TBR pile!