This week's question:
- How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
- Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?
Once I like them, I'll try anything they've written.
But as life's too short to spend reading time on stuff I can't stand, authors I don't enjoy rarely get the chance to worm their way into my affections.
Yes, I know: it's a major failing on my part. But stiff. I don't smoke, drink or fool around, so I'm allowed some peccadillos.
I will try out all recommendations by certain of my friends, though the resulting chemistry is occasionally unfavourable (Alexander McCall Smith, for example, John Banville, Cormac McCarthy et al).
And it's the same when I recommend books to others: they won't always gel.
So serendipity is a major force when I'm choosing reading matter.
My husband, who reads non-fiction (history and politics) and chooses many of his books only after meticulous research, reading reviews, and picking his way through recommendations, often says he can't believe how I can walk into a bookstore, choose a book seemingly on a whim, and then love it from cover to cover.
It's not always entirely whim, of course. I'll have a mental list (and these days, a hard copy of that list) of authors my friends and favourite bloggers are talking about, and I know where to roam as far as genre, subject matter, period and writing styles go.
And then, occasionally, a book sitting innocently on a bookstore shelf, not even among the new releases or bestsellers, will just strike a chord with me and I'll take a chance on it, driven by the blurb and a quick flick inside, and even, perhaps the cover. Now there's an admission!