I read a lot. Too much, some people would say. It’s fun for me, so nyah. I cheerfully admit that I enjoy both quality fiction and literary junk-food. I’m a bibliophage and I blog about my varied book-eating habits.
I’ve gotten pretty good at building a TBR list at my library and requesting a steady flow of new-to-me books. I own lots of books, mostly fantasy and sci-fi, and I like to re-read the good ones, but variety is important. Every room in my house has one or more over-filled bookshelves, unless that room has plumbing.
Anyhow, since recently I churn through a hundred new-to-me library books a year, sometimes I couldn’t remember the title or author of a book I really liked, or a book I loathed. This blog is here in hopes of letting me refer back to ‘that book about the troubadour planet-hopping lute-playing assassin spy diplomat guy’ and actually know what the title and author were. That’s a real example – if anyone recognizes which book that is, contact me!
The building of a bibliophage
Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw twice in the movie theatres. I first got seriously into science fiction and fantasy when I reached sixth grade, and had access to the much larger middle/upper school library. I remember discovering Arthur C. Clarke, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Sylvia Engdahl, Terry Brooks, Harry Harrison, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Marian Zimmer Bradley, Susan Cooper, etc.
Then in university I had access to an excellent science-fiction collection – definitely a benefit of attending one of the geek-central schools. I bought a bunch of Brin, Zelazny, Asimov. And dozens of one-off fantasy novels.
Perhaps it’s odd, but until I was 25 or so, I never worried too much whether the protagonist of a book was male or female. If I liked the story and character, I went ahead and identified with him or her. On the other hand, when I look at my list of favorite middle-school readings, a disproportionate & large number of those books had female leads. Ah well, anyhow, now that I am older and grouchier I have less patience for totally andro-centric writing. Still I don’t require that the lead character be female, but I am gravitating to those books more and more.
This is also a chance to set free all those alliterations, long words, and metaphors that I excise from my professional writing. ’Email’ and ‘tech note’ do not compose a genre. Here come the elephants on roller-skates.
So far, this is a tiny percentage of the books I’ve read in my life. Let me think, a hundred a year is a little on the high end, but I suspect it’s never been less than thirty a year. Multiply by thirty years of reading at that rate: yep, it’s a lot of books.
A couple of years ago I got tired of re-reading the books I already had… and buying books was getting both expensive and space-consuming. So, if I see something interesting reviewed elsewhere, or an author’s mentioned praising something I like, I track them down and add them to TBR.
Lastly, for my pestersome youngest offspring – yes, bibliophage means book-eater. I think it sounds better than book-eater.