Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Along the lines of finding authors and books

Four of the masters
One thing that I have noticed as a reader in this new digital reading age is that the opportunity to meet writers behind the books that I like has changed.  And I think it is a good change.  I read some of Rachel Aaron's blog posts weeks before I decided to read her sample (a time difference great enough to have read the earlier posts before she updated her website, which, by the way, is quite nicely designed, and then her sample after the update.)  I like that I learned a bit about her and a bit from her before I took a look at a book she had written.  Her writing as a blogger convinced me she could write well and hold my attention, so I expected her books would do the same.  That is not how I used to select my reading choices, say Azimov or Bradbury.  And I found her as a writer finds another writer, not as a reader finds an author.

In the age of Azimov and Bradbury, who I found by reading books alphabetically down the shelf marked science fiction at my public library when I was twelve, I would have just jumped in (and did) and started reading because I believed that anything that got into print was clearly worth reading or else they would not have published it.  I think for the most part that was a reliable belief in the 60's and 70's.  It was not until about 20 years later that I finally ran across a book which made me wonder who in heck thought this was a good idea. Even so, I felt it was a fluke not a condition.

Times do change.  So I select a little differently now.  I read comments on Goodreads, read blogs by writers, check out what SFWA is serving up for interest and generally keep my ears and eyes open for a good read. Sometimes I wish I could just walk along that sound-muffled aisle, bookshelves twice as tall as I and the bookcases running along far enough to show perspective lines.  Even so, it's what is inside the books that I find most interesting though that memory of how I used to find them stays a pleasant one.

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