I never binge read authors or genres. I do binge buy though. I’ll read one travel writing book, then read lists and posts about the best travel writing books like my life depends on it. And then I’ll buy five of them. But will I read them straight away? Absolutely not.

I’ve begun to feel like I’m missing out by not immersing myself in a writer or topic that I’m loving in that moment. I never get swept up. I’m beginning to think I’m being too clinical. Oh, I loved that Neil Gaiman but now I must put that aside and read something completely different. But why? To broaden my horizons? Appease the literary gods who won’t be happy unless a wide variety of sacrifices are made at their altar? Maybe I’ve just got too many interests?

I barely ever get around to reading other books by authors of books that I loved. I feel like an imposter calling them ‘favourite authors’. Jane Austen, John Wyndham, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Chuck Palahniuk. These are the authors that I’ve read several of their books. Jane Austen is unavoidable if you’ve ever attended school (and she’s about the only writer of that era I enjoy). Why the others? I love John Wyndham and Philip K. Dick. I greatly admire Kurt Vonnegut. Chuck Palahniuk is a fluke. But ultimately, their books are short. Far less commitment is required. I can read four Wyndham novels in the time it takes to get through American Gods.

Then there’s the threat of disappointment hanging over each subsequent book I read. I thought their book was amazing, even if the next is great, it will still pale in comparison. So it’s better to distance myself from that first taste of a potentially favourite author? Wrong. Absence just makes the heart grow fonder. The more time that separates me from that amazing book, the more the details grow fuzzy and gradually all I’m left with is, ‘I loved that book, it must be perfect’.

I’ve decided I’m going to make an effort to revisit my ‘favourite authors’, disappointment be damned. Or maybe I’ll read four crime novels in a row. But not in a this-is-a-challenge-I’m-going-to-officially-chart-my-progress kind of way, more like a be-in-the-moment kind of way. I probably don’t really need another list of things to read/watch/eat/listen to, which I proceed to meticulously tick off.

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