More on Glomming, October 2006
Jan I’ve discovered that a glom can be the worst way to read the works of an author whose first book I found interesting. A case in point is Amanda Quick / Jayne Ann Krentz. I really liked the first book of hers I read, but discovered that reading as many of her other books as I could get my hands on, in quick succession, meant that they all had a similar feel to them, and I couldn’t appreciate them. I still like her work, but now I won’t read two of her books in a row: I have to read something by other authors in between. Lynda X Before the internet, it was very difficult to find old books by an author, let alone to know other pseudonyms she might use. If I remember correctly, category romances were not even listed in the reference books used by bookstores to order older books, and OF COURSE, libraries did not buy any paperback romances. After I devoured–many times–Lisa Gregory’s “Rainbow Season,” I heard that there was an ealier book of hers, “Analise” which I could not find. R.I. at that time had (aboout 1989) only one used book store that carried romances. The owner told me her friend had “Analise” and I WANTED that book . I begged the owner to offer money for it. No, her friend would not sell it to me. No, she would not loan it to me. No, she wouldn’t take my watch or $100 deposit on its loan. I was so disappointed. Then, Romance Times published ads from used book stores around the country and I’d call, long distance (when that was expensive, even when I called on Saturday, which if you are too young to know, was cheaper than calling on M-F), trying to track it down. After about five phone calls, I found a copy, to my delight. So, off went the check, waited till it cleared, and then finally got my heart’s desire. I didn’t like the book. Naturally. I was so disappointed.
I’ve glommed Carla Kelly, Loretta Chase, and lots of other authors through “Amazon” and very rarely have had any problems. Of course, after spending sometimes a fair amount of money, I don’t always like the book–shades of “Analise.” But more often, I do. I love Amazon.
I recently have ordered Anne Gracie’s “The Honorable Thief” from the library. It was not available in Rhode Island, but I was elated to find I could order it from another state, and I got it yesterday. Thank you, Illinois!MarianneM
I’ve learned so much from my fellow readers who post on this board, and one of them is the feeling of enormous satisfaction when one executes a successful glom of a newly discovered author’s backlist. I have nursed a lifelong greed for certain author’s works, but until recently, with the development of the Internet, I had limited ways of finding a beloved author’s earlier books. One had to traipse to one bookstore after another and inquire. If you were lucky, you could make it to five or six before your feet started to hurt, your head to spin and you said feelingly, “Oh, the heck with it!”
It’s all so much easier now than it was BI [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][before the Internet]. I only discovered the romance genre about 6 or 7 years ago — and there was so much to catch up on! Early on, I realized that there was a vast gap between the Really Good romance writers, and the quite inadequate ones, and that I needed to get hold of the really good ones’ backlists as soon as possible to give me a solid basis for comparison. I began to explore Amazon, not just as a place to order books, but as a place to find out about backlists of my favorite writers, a kind of reference library of what I ought to own. When I discovered the menu which allowed me to select the ‘organize by publication date’ button, I was off and running.
As to the feelings after successful glomming, it’s a fierce greed and satisfaction. I can hardly wait to immerse myself in this whole string of books. When I glommed Jenny Crusie back in 2000, it was before some of her older category novels had been reprinted. I remember how shocked I was that a used paperback could cost $35. But I bought it anyway. The same thing happened with Elizabeth Lowell’s earlier categories. But what a pleasure it was to find them. When our house was flooded in Tropical Storm Allison back in 2001, I managed to save my favorites of Lowell, Linda Howard, Crusie, and SEP right after I rescued the cat, and before I tried to rescue anything else.
Kristie The internet certainly has rocked our world as far as finding old books we’ve been searching for hasn’t it? And even better than that, it’s been most excellent in finding others of our kind, a whole network of people who find the same exhilaration when they find a book they’ve been seeking for ever. Maryann Probably my biggest glom was after reading SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas. I went on an all out hunt for her books. Her first 3-4 books were out of print and they were pretty hard to find without paying a fortune. The hardest to find was FOREVER MY LOVE which I finally got off an EBAY auction. It was worth the money to complete her back list, but definitely NOT one of her best. Recently I’ve been glomming Rachel Gibson. Not very difficult to find her books and, for the most part, they’ve been enjoyable. Kayne A really fun thing to have happen is to find a book you missed in a glom. What a treat! When I glom, I don’t always go after all of an authors books. Sometimes I get only what I can from the library or a local UBS. Shipping for individual books for a glom can get very expensive and so books get skipped. Danielle This may sound silly, but I felt like a little kid in a candy store when I finally had all of the books in Suzanne Brockmann’s – Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series, especially when my friend from England found the last 3 books for me.
I remember when I first decided I was going to go back and rebuy my favorite books from the 70’s. Everyday I would wait for the UPS carrier or mail carrier to come so I could see what books came that day. If no books came I was sooo disappointed. It was like expecting a ring at Christmas and receiving a Fajita maker instead.
jmc Gloms. I like that word. It reminds me of MacBeth :)
I had to go check my library to figure out which authors were my biggest gloms. The largest backlists I have by far: Robyn Donald (Harlequin Presents) and J.D. Robb. I guess it isn’t really accurate to call J.D. Robb a glom though. After reading Naked in Death, I bought the other books, but at the time, there were only three or four of them; all of the others I have bought as they were released. I always feel like a miser, hoarding a new In Death book. I have to get a copy the day it is released, and am impatient with anything and everything that keeps me from reading it. Upon reflection, I’m a little surprised that I have more Robb books than Roberts. I’ve read most of Roberts’ backlist — almost all of her single titles and trilogies, and maybe half of her category/series books.
Donald is a New Zealand category author I stumbled across in a library book sale. Her backlist is pretty extensive (30-40 books, from the late 70s through 2006) but not particularly hard to find via the internet. What drew me to her books? The descriptions of the geography, plants, etc. that she includes in her stories. The setting usually has a role in the story somehow, or it mirrors what is going on in the plot. I haven’t been impressed with her most recent releases — they take place in a fake country, and the New Zealand descriptions are omitted as a result — but I keep buying them. Hard habit to break, I guess.
Another author that I have glommed: Carla Kelly. Her backlist is pretty hard to find and can be expensive, especially a couple of titles. I’ve read Daughter of Fortune but haven’t bought a copy because I refuse to pay $20-30 for a mass market paperback. I had mixed feelings when I found a copy of Miss Whittier Makes A List, the last Kelly book I bought. On one hand, I felt the urge to devour the book in one afternoon. But on the other hand, I knew that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to read another new (or new to me) CK book for a while, if ever (her Beau Crusoe had been pulled by HH and hadn’t been reslated for publication), so I wanted to savour it, and save it for An Occasion.
Lorraine Feelings that accompanied successful gloms . . . I can remember almost shaking when I finally got my hands on long searched for books. And reading those books so fast I would have to do an immediate re-read so that I could really absorb the story.
There were other times when I was disappointed in the sought after book. What a let down. That usually meant that I wouldn’t be so vigorous in chasing down other books by that author, until, of course, I read another good book by that author and then the chase would be on again!
I must say that since the internet and amazon (and here in Canada chapters-indigo) there isn’t quite the same thrill in glomming. It’s almost too easy. Not that I want to return to the days of searching books out at the (one) ubs or paying the price for new every time I find a new author. But I have reached a point in my life when I can afford to pay for new most of the time (even hard covers if I must have the book immediately – usually LH, JAK, NR, and MB). I still think twice if a used pb is priced beyond what it cost new.
Sometime last year I read “Mr. Perfect.” While it wasn’t my favorite book, I could certainly sense that this was a writer w/talent. So I went to the Internet where I quickly learned Ms. Chase was famous for “Lord of Scoundrels” and that most of her other books were well rec’d also. That was it, the glom was on…the problem: I couldn’t find her anywhere! I became obsessed.
All the major bookstores only had her recent release if they had anything. The used bookstores had nothing! Should I order from a bookstore online? I’d never done that before. All the online used bookstores made a pretty big deal about being sold “as is.” I had visions of receiving a book w/pages burnt around the edges, no cover and the last chapter missing. I continued to haunt the used bookstores in the hopes that some of her old stuff would turn up while I waffled about the online risk.
Finally, late one summer night while cruising the net, I stumbled upon a listing that said it had a “new” copy. My mind raced crazily. Was it some sort of surplus? Maybe somebody bought it years ago and then passed away before they could read it…okay, that was morbid, but how could it be new? After making myself dizzy w/wondering, it it occurred to me “who cares?” why it’s new, it’s half priced! I scrambled for my credit card, ordered it in a frenzy and then sat there dazed. Two seconds later I was awash in a sea of ambivalence. When would it be here? What if I hated it? I had glommed before w/mixed results.
Needless to say, the next few days were excruciating! I hadn’t checked the mail so earnestly since I had entered the “Win a date w/Shaun Cassidy” contest. By the time I opened the mail box to find a small brown envelope, I had already begun to suspect that my mailman was stealing my mail. I tried to walk calmly back to the house where, upon shutting the door, I ripped the envelope opened and held the book as if it were the Holy Grail. Hmmph, this cover looks kind of cheezy, almost like an 80s cover. The doubt began to seep in…I was going to hate it, I could tell. No good ever comes from obsession.
If you can believe it, I waited a week to start reading. I left it in my bedside table drawer. Everytime I opened it, I’d act like “oh, this ole piece of trash?” One day I flipped the pages from back to front like a fan, opened to the beginning and thought I’d read the first few lines to see what all the hubbub was about…
I didn’t come up until I reached the part where Jessica confronts Dain after Wallingdon’s ball! And then, it was only because the book fell out of my hands in shock. At that moment, I felt gratified. I was glad I had hunted it down! I was glad I didn’t give up. And, I was glad that Ms. Chase came through for me.
That was really my most successful glom. I’ve glommed others, but that one was the most satisfying. I know not everyone likes that book and, to be honest, I’m not even sure it’s my all-time favorite book. But, damn, the ride was good while it lasted.
Yuri When I first started glomming it was so exciting – the discovery of a new author and the realisation that you want to read everything they’ve ever written. The surreptious bouncing when you hold the longed-for book in your hands – wonderful.
But then I learnt that however wonderful the author, if you read enough of her books it’s less fun. In other genres a long series can hold your interest because it never really finishes (although that can be tiresome too), but a romance is essentially a one-book story, or should be IMHO to satisfy the HEA requirement.
This leads to terrible disppointment – from the joys of “New author! New author!” to the post-glom slum of “how disappointing” – they were all the same. My first experience of this was with Feehan’s Carpathians. Love the Carpathians, love them – big strong brooding alpha males and the whole soulmate device gets me every time. So after I had read about five in a row I was seriously despondent that I could barely remember the plot. So …
Yuri’s rules for glomming:
- Never read two books by the same author in a row
- After one ho-hum reading experience, add another book between glom titles
- Never read more than three books on the same theme together, no matter how much you want to.
- If it takes a year to glom an author’s backlist that’s OK, the rest of the books will be there tomorrow, I don’t have to gobble them down today.
It took me two years in the end to finish my Feehan glom, and I really enjoyed it. I love picking up a Carpathian book and knowing exactly what I’m getting. I love the shiver of anticipation as I get ready to meet a new brooding male. But I know enough now to ration myself to avoid the mental bellyache of overindulging in a glom!
Janie I have been a book collector for as long as I can remember and it has been awhile since I truly went into a buying frenzy on an author since the authors I haven’t read yet are usually relatively new. But, I remember when I discovered Sherrilyn Kenyon. I had gotten a copy of Fantasy Hunter on a Saturday evening and went home that evening, devoured it and then immediately flipped back to the beginning and re-read it. When I discover an author like this, by the time I finish the first book my mind is going a mile a minute thinking “gotta have more, gotta have more”, and my skin is just buzzing with excitement. I was hooked in a major way!! I spent the next couple of days on the internet tracking her books down and haunting the mall and bookstores in my area for the rest of her books. When I discovered her she had about nine books out under both of her psuedonyms and by the time I was finished I had all of them. Since that time I have read all of her books at least twice and some of them five or six times. Malvina I thought after all the vampire books that have been saturating romance over the last few years, I was over them. Obviously not. An email list with an ‘author of the month’ we all read and discuss suggested J R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood books for September. Sigh, I thought. Not another vampire book… Anyway, I bought Dark Lover and Lover Eternal, hoping I wouldn’t regret getting two instead of just one. About 10 pages into Dark Lover, I made hasty steps to ensure I’d have the third one in my hands within the week. Holy cow, what powerful, brilliant, sexy, romantic writing. Who knew? I’m glad, of course, that so many people on the list raved about the books. I thought the listees couldn’t possibly *all* be wrong! I do tend to like a lot of their suggested reads, so yes, hoped it wouldn’t be a waste of time. Of course they weren’t wrong. Julie Garwood is another I glommed after coming to her late. After reading The Bride, wow, I loved her historicals, and discovered when she jumped the shark that I also enjoy her contemporaries. Jorrie My biggest, most successful glom was a few years ago: Suzanne Brockmann and her Troubleshooter series. I was in a reading daze going through those books, totally involved in the world Brockmann had created. I think it helped to read about two couples whose relationships could be followed over a number of books, namely Sam and Alyssa, and Max and Gina. It was great not having to wait for the next book, but to have it right there.
I rather expected to tire of Brockmann, as that often happens during a glom, but it didn’t happen this time.
Lee Laurie: I haven’t glommed any author for a few years, especially because any of the books I want to buy are so expensive (older titles by Balogh, Beverley, Putney, etc.). But when I did buy affordable books by favorite authors, I made sure not to read all of them at once. It’s possible to see a pattern in an author’s writing if you read book after book after book.
I still have unread, older titles by Mary Balogh, Elisabeth Fairchild, Lynn Kerstan, Jo Goodman and Barbara Metzger, among others, that are like delicacies waiting to be savored.
Two titles I did read back to back were “The Bronze Horseman” and “Tatiana and Alexander.” It was easy to buy a copy of the former, but not the latter. Nonetheless, when I was in the UK several years ago, I made a point of looking for “Tatiana and Alexander” in London (couldn’t find it), Chester (no luck), Llandudno (smaller town so I figured they might have it — nope) and then I found a copy at Waterstone’s in Bristol. The book was trade-sized and expensive but I didn’t care. Finally I could read “The Bronze Horseman,” see what the hubbub was all about, and if I did like it as much as others did, I wouldn’t have to tear my hair out finding a copy of the sequel.
And, yes, it was worth the wait — I’ve never cried so much when reading these two stories.
eggs For me, the very worst danger of a glom is when the author has a very strong voice, especially with characterization. While that makes for great memorable reading in individual novels, it can lead to a huge dissapointment on a glom because the strong authorial voice ends up making the books all blur into one big mess in your head – leaving you with the feeling that an author is bland – when the exact opposite is true. I’ve recently been on a paranormal glom and have read maybe 4/5 Christina Feenan (sp?) Carpathian novels and the same number of Sherrilyn Kenyon (sp?) Dark Hunter novels. Although I can clearly remember the protagonists of the first ones I read, the next 3 are just a blur of ‘sameness’ to me because they were read so close to the first one that I loved (same day in some cases). Their characterizations and themes were so close to each other (even though plot events differed) that I didn’t get a strong feeling for each character.
One author really stands out in my mind for breaking this rule, and that’s Barbara Delinsky. I picked up her “Montana Man” series romance in a UBS and *loved* it. I then picked up every single book I could find of hers, and found each of them to have very different and memorable characters. I think this was because she had a huge change of voice mid-way through her career and my glom resulted in reading her older voice interspersed with her new – making all of them feel unique.
I don’t read much historical romance, but blame you, personally, for sending me off on a Julie Garwood glom. Hey – if Laurie loves them, they must be good, right? The same thing happened – the first one I read (The Bride) was good enough for me to go and buy several more which I read over a period of days. I found them to be very much of a muchness and was dissapointed with the glom BUT if I’d read them as they came out with, say, one a year between them, I’d probably love all of them as much as I loved the first one.
The only glom that really seems to work is when you’re looking for some hot and sexy action. If an author writes good sex and lots of it, then you can kind of forgive the “blending” of characters in your mind because you’re there for the hubba-hubba and not for the plot/characterization. If an author can give great sex AND great characterization, well. I’m a fan for life.
For the most part, I try not to glom as I know it will lead to dissappointment, while waiting between books can mean I love all of them. I’m actually kicking myself over this ATM, because of my paranormal glom that’s left me kind of “meh” over a genre that I know many people *love*.
kur I used to glom. Back when I was a kid and even as a young adult. I’d get on a jag and read everything I could get my hands on by author X.
But all that changed. Maybe it’s the frequent relocat1on. More likely its my ever changing interests. Now I find I can’t bear to read two books back to back by the same author, unless they are vastly different books. Like Michel Faber’s “The Courage Consort” and “Under the Skin”. Hugely different. Wouldn’t have known it was the same writer if his name hadn’t been on the cover!
I do read more than one book by an author I like. Just not consecutively. I need a break from that style, that story approach. I need to mix it up. I actively avoid any books that are part of a “series”. I think Suzanne Brockmann burnt me on that one…
I think, as Suzanna said below, glomming is a form of collecting and I am an active divester. I collect nothing. I work hard at getting rid of stuff.
So it is possible to go from uber-glommer to anti-glommer. I’m proof!
Julie M. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever gone out and acquired or tried to acquire all the books by a single author or all the books in a sub-sub-genre or even gone on a reading binge of just one type of book.
The closest I can think of is when I waited for several years for all the sequels to Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Dancer series to be published. When I read the first, there was only talk of a sequel, nothing definite, so I read it and enjoyed it. But when the second book was released, it was made clear that there would be two more. I held off reading #2 until #3 and #4 were in print, about three years I think. (Kind of like waiting for all the LOTR movies to be released before I saw the first, so I could see them all at once.)
After reading the ATBF column, I thought about why I don’t glom, and the only thing I can come up with is this: I choose books based on the story elements from the back blurb or jacket flap, and even if the book is really good, I’m not likely to be interested in another book by the same author if the subject matter, setting, characters, etc. that drew me to try the first book aren’t of equal attraction.
Of course, another reason may be that I just have so gol-durned many books already!
If I’ve never actually glommed, I’ve often avoided certain authors after some really negative experiences, even though other readers have highly recommended subsequent books. For instance, I’ve probably tried to read at least four or five of Jude Deveraux’ books, beginning in the early 1980s, but I can’t get into them. I’ve never been able to figure out what makes her so popular, but obviously, I’m the one who’s out of step! ;-)
Come to think of it, I’m probably out of step on a lot of issues, but I’m okay with it, if you are!
Azure My most recent glom was of the Outlander series. I’d tried to read the first book on a long trip several years ago and couldn’t get into it. (Coincidentally, one of the other books I brought on the trip was Stephanie Laurens’s Devil’s Bride, which triggered its’ own glom.)
Then, with all the hype last year about A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I thought, “Why not? Maybe I’ll like them more now that I’m older and my reading tastes have changed somewhat.” (I’m not quite as enamored of Laurens as I used to be.) So I bought Outlander at a UBS and started reading.
Halfway through the book, I knew I was going to need the rest of them. In fact, my obsession with getting the rest of the series caused me to drive forty-five miles to the nearest Waldenbooks because none of the other stores in the small town where I live had them!
tlc A couple of years ago I bought Lisa Kleypas “Worth Any Price”. I really liked Nick and thought Lottie was very mature. Because this was the first Book of Kleypas that I had picked up I had no idea the Nick was the villain in the previous book so he did not need to be redeemed to me. I also liked that the bonding of Nick and Lottie was 90% of the book. I didn’t mind that Lottie’s situation was secondary and that it was tied up within a few pages toward the end. When I finished the book I found LK’s back list and started rummaging through the UBS. I just reread WAP this week-end and find that I still like this book and the characters. I have to agree with the poster that said, in regards to her experience with glomming a certain Author:
“I really liked the first book of hers I read, but discovered that reading as many of her other books as I could get my hands on, in quick succession, meant that they all had a similar feel to them, and I couldn’t appreciate them.
I had a similar experience when reading in quick succession in regards to loosing interest and rushing through the final few books just to finish the glom. I did this with Kleypas’s “Prince of Dream” and rush through it and not really grasping the story. I also don’t care for Time Travel books either so I really didn’t find the incentive to “dig in”. I reread this one twice and found that I really like Nikolas and thought LK did a great job of redeeming him. (I don’t have a problem with infidelity in my books just as long as the HEA is believable.)
This year I went on a Glom of Gaelen Foley. I picked up “Lord of Ice” (Damien’s Story). I think she was publishing the second to the last of the Knight Series. I didn’t pick up the Ascension Trilogy though. I do wait anxiously for the Spice Trilogy.
I also went on a glom of Celest Bradley’s The Liars Club and the Royal Four Series. I felt a little aggravated with this one. The first book of hers I picked up and didn’t realize how many were in the series (and when I did I thought this must be the longest series in romance history.) Then when I realized that the series had a spin off, I felt a little manipulated. I have not read all of the Liars books but I still buy her books and try to keep up with the series.
It isn’t very often that I find Authors to glom. I go through phases that all I want to do is read and then I don’t want to touch a book for weeks. There are a ton of Authors out there that I have not picked up so when I do come across one that does strike a cord with me, I always look forward to the thought of maybe this one will be another glom.
Gwen I have fallen into a Glom and I can’t get out!!
I call it my James Lee Burke project and I can’t stop.
James Lee Burke is a crime writer but in my opinion, the finest in that genre. Or in any genre. I picked up one of his latest books, Crusaders Cross, loved it and decided to read all his books in order. I had read a few of his books before and he was always one of my favorite writers but I hadn’t read all of them. So began my odyssey. I was unable to read anything else. I picked up other books and had absolutely no interest. I couldn’t read Romance anymore! I tried to read other well regarded Crime/Mystery novels and was bored.
Nothing else would do but my beloved, James Lee Burke.
Why? He never disappoints and I did literally CRAVE his writing. The writing is so lyrically descr1ptive of the setting (New Orleans and New Iberia, Louisiana and Missoula Montana) and the characters are unforgettably rich. There is always a political/sociological element to the novels and also a spiritual, otherworldly, supernatural theme. Whenever I tried to read something else, I missed the beauty and depth of his writing, as if I had been eating only steak and was now being given bologna slices. I felt deeply deprived of something I needed. To me writing like this is an experience. It is NOURISHMENT that I find lacking in our culture more and more. It is the same feeling of spriritual longing I have for the nourishment I used to get from the TV show DEADWOOD.
I feel real love for the characters and that show and these books fill a need that I can’t get anywhere else.
I thought I had a slight case of OCD but it is something much worse! I think we are all craving experiences in books, film,and all kinds of Art that create a world that we can fall into. We want to be touched deep inside and filled with real creative food. What we are usually given is pretty empty and we can enjoy this, until we dip into something with substance and then LOOK OUT! We can’t go back. I want the real thing! I am waiting for the new Anne Stuart to break my James Lee Burke Glommathon.
Nora Roberts I’ve had that reaction to Michael Connolly, especially his Harry Bosch mystery series. The series is always new and refreshing and best of all, there’s a new one Echo Park out October 9th. I am counting the days.~
I read an ARC of this–loved it. But I love me some Bosch.
Liz The Stephanie Meyers books. I read “Twilight” and HAD to have “Full Moon,” immediately, in hardback.
If I have to BUY it, new, in hardback, it’s serious glom.
I went on huge gloms for Lisa Kleypas, Sandra Hill, Suzanne Enoch, and Jennifer Crusie, all after reading one book and absolutely loving it. But there are at least 2 or 3 titles in every backlist that I have that I haven’t read yet. In Sandra Hill’s, I still have only read the one book that inspired the glom in the first place. But, as you said, if I ever want to read those books, they’re there, waiting for me. Here in Australia, books are expensive (normally about $17 for a paperback), and second hand book stores are priced accordingly – normally hovering around what I used to pay for a brand new paperback in a book store. Further, romance novels just aren’t as prolific. You have to go to specialty stores to pick up new titles. Borders does get them in, eventually, but it’s normally a month or so behind the release dates, and even then it’s touch and go. So I do most of my glomming on e-bay, and through friends when they go off to Singapore and Bali shopping – sad really, but those places have a much better selection (and better pricing!) than the Australian mainland.
I get an obsessive quality about my gloms, and a slow detachment from reality. Not unlike when I read InStyle magazine for any length of time. $500 for a pair of sunglasses? A bargain! $60 American for a copy of Anne Gracie’s Tallie’s Knight? Bring it on! I often need to turn off my computer, or walk out of the bookstore, and take a good hard walk for half an hour to slip my priorities back into the right place. But I think it must be a genetic throwback to the hunt – the thrill, the adrenaline, the rush. The competition. During a real strong glom, everyone around me is in direct competition to me, all desperate for the same thing.
Then, of course, when reality hits again, and I realise that nobody cares about the early Silhouette’s of Suzanne Brockmann, I feel quite silly. But it doesn’t stop me from falling into ‘booklust’ the next time around…
Lisa AAR My first glom was the Outlander series. It was also what got me started in the romance genre (even though some do not consider it romance).
When I got Outlander in the mail I read it in almost one sitting and couldn’t wait for the rest to come via BooksFree so I went to B&N and bought all of them. I read them all up and even went to DC for the Book Fair when Diana Gabaldon was speaking so I could get A Breath of Snow and Ashes a whole 4 days early. To say I’m obsessed in an understatement.
My latest in Anne Gracie -Love Her! the Gallant Waif is on it’s way to me as we speak. I got it through a book swap and can hardly beleive it was virtually free.
Lea AAR Glomming – the word brings a sense of great anticipation to me because this is usually a newly discovered author that has delivered on a DIK level and it’s like having dessert as many times as I want. Rather than read one book after another, I usually space out the books, with two or three books between each, to lengthen the overall experience. There are the disappointments but I face each book with hope that I will find a number of DIK books all at once.
My biggest glom was Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I don’t know if another can equal it. I discovered her in 2002 when she already had a large backlist. Although her older books didn’t do much for me, all her books from 1994 on have been winners with 8 DIKs. Just thinking of SEP’s talent can get my mouth watering as I remember the terrific time I had reading her books and it was a SEP high – that’s the only way I can describe it. I was guaranteed a fantastic fun ride and sat down with great anticipation each time I began a new title. Not a person to reread often, I have now read those 8 DIKS twice and some three – four times and even have most in unabridged audio format. I know it is going to be a “feel good” time and reward myself with mini-gloms every few months as I chose one to reread yet again. I guess it could be said that SEP is a continual glom for me.
I had a different type of glom recently after discovering J R Ward’s books. I read the first two in the series after a recommendation from Sandy Coleman and was riveted – totally riveted. I hadn’t read many vampire romances and was a bit wary but I was totally captivated. I waited impatiently for the third which was released recently, was waiting for it when it hit the shelves, and devoured it. When I finished I had that same empty feeling I had experienced when I had finished the first two and was waiting for the third. So, I turned around and read all three over again immediately. I didn’t attempt to space out the reading. I read them as fast as I could and enjoyed them more the second time around. The romance was only part of the success. It was the relationships between the brothers that was just as entrancing and it was such a fun yet serious world that I didn’t want to leave! It was something I yearned for and once again I experienced that high I mentioned with SEP. Now I am getting ready to read them for a third time. Yes, I feel obsessed but I have never experienced this type of glom before that requires me to reread anything immediately and I know this too will pass.
bungluna I just came off a Lois McMaster Bujold glom. I had read a couple of Miles Vorkosigan books in disorder. when I got “Cordelia’s Honor” and realized that this was a whole series, I just had to have them. By the time I was through, I’d read all the books in the series twice, in one month! Susan W I don’t let myself do a true glom–read a large chunk of an author’s backlist back-to-back–for two reasons: 1) I’m afraid I’ll burn out on the author’s voice or favored plot elements (and I’m too hard to please these days to risk ruining a good author by gorging myself on his/her works), and 2) because I’m so hard to please, I want to stretch out the pleasure of savoring an author’s backlist as long as possible.
These days my slow-motion gloms are Jennifer Crusie and Bernard Cornwell. I let myself read one a month. If I’m going to be flying anywhere that month, I save the Crusie and Cornwell for then, because if I’m cooped up on a plane for hours, I want to be sure I like my book and am not forced to amuse myself with SkyMall and the in-flight magazine.
The Crusies I buy and save up. The Cornwells I’ve been getting from the library, because I figure he’ll eventually finish the Sharpe books, and when he does, there’s bound to be a boxed set in chronological order with nice matchy covers that’ll look impressive on my bookshelf next to my Aubrey/Maturin boxed set. So I put one Sharpe book on hold per month, and try to restrain myself from making Gollum-like “my preciousss” noises when I check it out.
It’s a bittersweet process. My last slow-motion glom was the Aubrey/Maturin series, and I was genuinely sad to get to the last book and know there would never be any more. At least Cornwell and Crusie are both active writers–and I wish them very long lives and highly insistent muses! But I still read much faster than they can possibly write, and I’m already wondering where I’ll go for a reliably good read when I’ve caught up with their backlists.
Gemini I’m with you, Susan. I almost made a very bad mistake with a favorite author a few years ago by reading one too many books in a row. When I got to about book six or so, I started to dread it. And, this is an author I love! I’m not sure what caused it, either, but it took me a couple of years to get back to her remaining books. Now I have a 3 book rule—never more than 3 by an author back to back, then something else for awhile. It seems to keep everything fresh and more enjoyable.
And, like you I also have the desire to make the TBR’s of favorites last longer. I have at least a couple titles of all of my favorites that are still unread, because when I find myself in a real slump after a streak of mediocre or bad reads, they are the ones I turn to to break the monotony.
Yuri Me too. I’m a little faster than one a month, but I instituted a rule a while back that I’m not allowed to read an author’s books back-to-back, unless its a true series where each book is incomplete (I’m thinking other genres here). Sometimes I can’t resist and gobble two at once. Depends on the author whether I’m sorry or not. Kristie One of the quirkiest features of a glom for me is when I start glomming an author without having read a single one of the glommed authors books. I did this with Christine Feehan’s Dark books a couple of years ago. I gobbled up 5 of her books without ever having read her. When I finally sat down to read them. I barely got through one and couldn’t make it through the next one and realized she just isn’t my cuppa. Luckily, I got them all at UBS’s and with credit – so it didn’t really cost me anything.
Of course that didn’t keep me from doing it again. There are a few other authors I’ve done the same thing with. Another one is Tina St. John – with much better results. I quite like her books
I do this all the time.
First I look at the AAR new reviews (A & B only) and then I check out Amazon reviews, and from this info I order the books online.
I also have been stuck with books that I could not get into.
Gemini My goodness, and I thought I was the only madwoman who did this, and I did it a dozen times before I realized that I had gone overboard to acquire a couple hundred books that I couldn’t get past the first chapter in. Perhaps we ought to form a support group (Glommers of Unread Authors Anonymous)…
Actually, I think I have learned NOT to ever do this again. If I do I deserve to have lightning strike me, I believe. Now that I have identified the causes, I think I can control the urge.
Rave reviews are greatly to blame. I have learned to be much more circumspect and realize that one reader’s meat may be another reader’s poison. And, I have some reading friends who, in general, share my reading tastes. So, Mary loves Author A, Jane loves Author B, Linda loves author C and I made the assumption that because we all enjoy Author D that I would also like the three alternatives. Wow, what a monumental mistake!
Now, when it is a new author I have not read before that tempts me, I make sure I get several opinions, and IF I buy I try to just pick up 2-3, preferably used, to sample. And one really superb book by an author is no longer enough to make me go on a glom. Consistency gets very high marks with me and there really is no way to judge that without reading 2-3 books by an author.
So, lesson learned, finally…thank heavens!
Karen S Thank you for sharing this really quirky side of glomming! I have never thought a person would collect books without reading at least one before going on a glom so this is totally new and surprising!
I have gone on gloms in the past only after I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed a book by said glommed author. Choosing books before reading is actually fascinating to know so thanks for confessing this quirk!
Who’d have thought??
LLB You must have missed this one. “Glomming without having read” is a phenomenon we started talking about in 1997 – during our second discussion on glomming. I’ve done it before, but for me it’s not generally worked out well. I went through an expensive glom of Bertrice Small well before the days of the online bookstore based on what people said about her Skye O’Malley series, and eventually, when I tried her, I hated her and got rid of the whole kit and kaboodle. They were mostly trade-size books and it took me a whole lot of time, effort, and expense…for nothing. Becky I have done this before also, and have had to trade-in some authors’ works. Due to the nature of this “illness,” does this mean we who obsessively buy all the titles of an author, even without ever having read the author, qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis?? (I used to run all over town and buy all the beenie babies back when they were hot; now have a whole attic full and not sure why I did it. At least we can ENJOY the books). Sandy H I did the same thing with Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series and could only get through one. I bought them on eBay so my investment wasn’t too much :) Because I like Lynn Viehl’s Darklyn series I bought a few of her science fiction novels and I am enjoying them Helen Once again, it is refreshing to know I am not the only person in the world who can become somewhat manic when in book collecting mode. My husband is baffled at the piles of books I collect and the fact that I read and reread a book. My best author hunt concerns an american author by the name of Thorne Smith. Some of you may know he wrote Topper (made into a film with a young Gary Grant). Now Topper has been reissued relatively recently but other of his titles (he died in 1934) have proved more difficult to find. I found an abridged version of Topper in Holland when on holiday – in english thankfully though I might have still bought it even in dutch! I have found others in hopital book piles and secondhand shops. It has taken me nearly 30 years but I think I have them all. In case anyone is curious the books are funny, satireical and often sad – if there is a theme,the characters can spend most of the story drunk. Incidentally, I agree that one should not read more than say 3 JAK in a row. I enjoy her books but it can be like eating to much chocolate at a sitting. Gwen When I was much younger I went on a Thorne Smith hunt,too! I ended up with only a few of his books as the others were just impossible to find. But I still remember -“The Night Life of the Gods”. This was a novel about a man who went to the Metropolitan Museum and turned all the statues of the Greek Gods and Goddesses real. Apollo, Diana, Neptune, Mercury etc. all went wild through 1930’s New York. I remember it fondly! But boy! I had never even heard of “Topper in Holland”! You did good! Karen B who just began glomming “in Death”. This ATBF hit at the perfect time, I really thought I was the only one who hadn’t read these books. I’ve been a glommer for a long time and it was almost always triggered by one book reviewed at AAR. In their times I’ve glommed Jo Beverly, Liz Carlyle, Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and many others but you’ll notice the pattern was always historicals. Well, I was ready for a change and after finding one “in Death” book for $1 and years of hearing about “Eve & Roarke” I finally decided to give something new a chance and I’m in LOVE. In the process of this glom I’ve discovered a renewed love for an old resource, the library!
I used to really enjoy the hunt for the glom, hours on ebay, poking around for hours at the UBS, but 20+ titles in the series was truly daunting, especially when you looked at Buy it Now collections for over $90 and my daughter has little patience for the ubs (she’s only 3), not to mention the end of my last glom (Judith Ivory) cost me way to much for a ratty pbk which wasn’t quite as good as the hype. Interlibrary loan became my life saver! Every week I get 5 or 6 books out of the series and when I’m about done with those I request the next 5 or six. Of course, soon I’ll be looking for a new glom!
In the spirit of glomming I have to add that “in death” is not my only current glom. I’ve been glomming Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series and some Jennifer Crusie as well.
Becky I am admitting here that I was a “Nora Roberts virgin” before reading Angels Fall, which AAR recommended…I even had trouble connecting with the hero (that infamous abrasive personality) but he straightened-up in time (for me). That read started me on a NR glom that has gotten me numerous (?) earlier books by her stacked-up in my room under my bedclothes, furniture, etc. I have so many that I have no idea which to read first…I did read Carolina Moon, which was good Southern melodrama. It is as if I am afraid the books will disappear if I do not possess them all. I have great plans to read Northern Lights and Blue Smoke soon; hope to do that in-between many other books. My gloms have good intentions, however real life seems to intervene at the worst times. Kristie I glommed the In Death books a couple of years back now. Luckily there weren’t as many then as there are now. The thing that really makes me want to smack my head and go d’oh is I talked my sister into getting a few In Death books a few years before that. She doesn’t like romance but I thought they might be right for her although I had never read them before. She tried one and it was to “romancy” for her and passed them on to me. I started one and didn’t like it either and traded them in at the UBS (all the while feeling a bit guilty that she was the one who bought them, although she did *give* them too me). Then I tried JD Robb again a couple of years later and LOVED them. At that time I could have kicked myself for trading the first ones in! I guess that was my punishment, buying books I had traded in earlier :) Christina I seems like we have similar gloms cuz I started out glomming the “In Death” series when I read Remember When and then I tracked down all the other ones either at the UBS or new ones. So I’m all caught up and not have gotten my sister stuck on them haah. But recently I’ve gotten stuck reading the Chicago stars books when I picked up Match Me If You Can. Kathy Yeah, I would have to say that Roarke is also at the top of my fictional “I’d do him” list also. There is so much in this column to talk about, but Laurie, I swear to gosh, I almost keeled over and died laughing when I read that one. ROTFLMAO
Also, I just want you to picture this:
“Ahahahahahah” , I can hear Nora Roberts actually rubbing those itty bitty hands right now and saying, “Now I have got you me pretty” (grin).
I wonder what she is saying about this? (grin)
Seriously, if you were to pick a series of books to glom, the In death series has to be one of the best. I am extremely envious that you have the whole series fresh to read. In fact, if I was not so into my own glom at the point, your glom might have put me on a serious re-read glom of that series.
Kathy I just had a chance to finish the column and wanted to say that I am honored to be quoted in this article.
This was a great column. I truly enjoyed reading about everyone’s opinion and experiences in glomming. I love discussing this subject. I have been glomming for years. Unfortunately, I have glommed so much that there are very few authors left for me to glom, eekkk! (grin).
I wanted to say a couple of things before I mentioned my subject, the “dark side” of glomming.
You mention in your article “Jennie” and how she holds back the last few books on a glom. I think in my email to AAR, I told you about the bittersweet feeling I get when I am at or near the end of a glom. Like Jennie, I too usually hold off reading that last one or two books, at least for a while. Like the glom I am on now with Garlock’s books, as I reach the end of the list, if I have truly enjoyed the author, I actually begin to fear reaching the end. I don’t have much of a TBR pile anymore, and finding new books is a challenge for me.
I also agree wholeheartedly with “Genie’s” assessment of Dorothy Garlock as a author. This glom of Garlock has been very much needed. All year I have ranted about the lack of depth in romance books lately. Finding Garlock and reading her books has restored my faith in that I know there are still authors out there who make history come alive. Like Genie, I truly feel that I am reading about an era and the people and their daily lives. All this combined with a wonderful romance makes a outstanding read!
Now to that Dark side of Glomming that I mention in my subject line. Most of my gloms now are simply a glom. I have found an author that I truly enjoy and just want to read their backlist. Like I said in my email, I now know how to step back if I get too deep in a glom. I laugh now at some of things I have let slip in the past during the “deep in a glom” stage. That story about the cat bowl was very true. I was hot and heavy in the middle of a Mo Jo Putney regency glom when that occurred. It was a 4 day weekend for me. I only remember starting that glom after I got home on a Friday evening from the ubs with 7 of her books. I think maybe(and I stress maybe) that I filled the dang cat bowl Friday night. I only remember Sunday morning, feeling the cat licking my toe and looking at them wiggle and remembering that I actually had 3 cats in the house. When I entered my kitchen the dishes were stacked a mile high and both water and food bowl were bone dry.
From that point on I actually made myself a promise that if I ever did a glom again, I do what needed to be done in the house every morning before I actually picked up a book that day. I have never broken that rule.
So for me I know that glomming can be dangerous or disturbing. It actually goes a little further than the cat bowl, but that was years ago. There have been periods in my life, without getting too personal here, that glomming was a way of burying myself in something so I would not have to face some of the trials of daily life.
Glomming can be for some, a form of or aspect of an actual depression. Some people sleep too much. Minor depressions for me, manifests itself in my reading. The sameness and mindlessness of a glom, in some aspects, can be a way of avoiding a problem. Or masking those warning signs of hopelessness.
I know for me in the past, this has been true. Whether it be problems at work that I don’t want to face, family problems, etc. Digging into a glom at one time was my way of just ignoring things. I excused that by saying to myself “hey I have found this great stack of books that needs my attention”. And the elation I would feel in reading those books would push aside the darker feelings I had about problems in my life.
I am much older now and have come to terms with my need to sometimes do this. I try to limit times that I actually allow myself to glom now.
Does anyone else see this dark side sometimes? Or am I just seriously in need of prozac… lol.
Gemini I have noticed that my own reading in general, and romance reading in particular, seems to coincide with ‘lows’ in my life rather than the ‘highs’. So, reading to escape unpleasant realities is, in my case, very valid. The periods in my life where reading tended to take the highest priority over other things were also the periods when the circumstances of my life were the saddest or most frustrating. I cannot see the reading as a cure though, unfortunately, just as a symptom. I wish I felt otherwise. Reading to escape helps you escape, to be sure, but it does nothing to fix the crappy job, the bad relationship, or whatever is making you unhappy or depressed any more than sucking down a margarita, smoking a joint, or eating a 5 lb box of chocolates would fix the problem. Reading is probably the healthiest escape, though, so there IS that to recommend it.
Glomming, or any kind of collecting for that matter, says a lot about us. I think for some of us it is based on fear. I know that sounds strange, and it even sounds strange to me and I’m the one saying it. First of all, my fear may be partly he result of having lived through a housefire in which many beloved books were lost, some never to be replaced. But, I know that a lot of the book collecting I’ve done in my lifetime was simply because of the rather silly notion that one day I might be without books to read. For someone who has loved books all her life, more than clothes or food, that’s a pretty frightening proposition. And, it’s even more apparent when the compulsion to KEEP is just as strong or stronger than the compulsion to buy/read. When I find a great book/great author, I can’t be satisfied with just the experience of reading and purging from the shelves—I must keep the book forever, even if it’s falling apart. I don’t have the same problem with sucky books, BTW, they go out the door so fast it would make your head spin. My rationale for collecting is that I will re-read them, and sometimes I do, but really, with a truckload of books here—fiction and non-fiction, I’ll need to live to be 100 to read and/or reread them all, so even I see the absurdity of what I’m doing. I would probably be doing my family a favor if I had them cremated with me.
I hear a lot of avid readers refer to their love of books as an addiction, and I think they are being very candid in calling it that. Maybe their compulsion differs from mine a little, but it is a compulsion nonetheless. And, as bad as I am about collecting, I have met several people who make my book mania look pallid by comparison! So, yes, I agree with you that there is a dark side to glomming, most definitely.
Melissa Lately (over the last 1-2 years) I’ve been facing issues that I CAN NOT fix. (Deaths in the family, family members with cancer, personal health issues, etc) Glomming and reading have helped me get through the rough spots. (I devoured the Miles Vorkosigikan series.) I knew I needed professional help (counseling and anti-depressants when I got to the point that I could no longer read. Once I started to recover, I used reading as part of my “therapy” again. I can see where it could have the dark side you’re talking about, but I don’t know what I would have done without books and glomming to give me something positive to focus on. LLB Well, I’m in the midst of this glom, and it DOES come at a very difficult time for me, but I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I look at it as a healthier option than binge-eating or another form of binge behavior. Yes, it’s an escape, but I need it, and since I have little control over what’s happening in my life right now, it seems a reasonable coping mechanism.
That said, I’ve gone through other gloms that didn’t have such a component to it. Earlier this year when I was unable to read for five months, it was also because of personal trauma that I had no control over. I think I was on worse shape at that point because I had nothing to take my mind off things. This glom gives me SOMETHING to look forward to during a difficult time.
Kathy LLB, for most gloms, I fully agree with you. Most gloms or glommers are not using them to avoid. In my case, my gloms are much heather because I am aware of past problems with it, and I don’t let the important things in life slip because of it.
And even for most people who are in situations that they can’t resolve, I agree with Gemini and you, that reading is a healthy form of escape from the pressures and frustrations. This pertains to all reading, whether it is a glom or not.
I remember you talking about your situation at the 1st of the year and I felt for you when you said that you were not able to read. Like you said, it might have helped to aleviate some of the stress, so I know that was certainly frustrating.
But I think Gemini fully understands where I am saying that gloms or glomming can cause some people, me for instance, to avoid:
“they also cause or allow me to procrastinate in addressing the issues that sent me screaming into my library to begin with. Because I become absorbed in someone else’s problems, I delude myself into thinking that I can postpone dealing with my own for the space of one book, which becomes two, then three, and so on. Before long, I end up a bigger problem than I started with, LOL, because I have ignored unpleasant realities for too long. It’s not healthy to become so absorbed in something to the point that you are oblivious to everything else, including perhaps the issue that drove you to the behavior initially, and that is the point at which the glom can become detrimental.”
This is probably the best descr1ption of what I call the dark side of glomming. I have been there.
Luckily, I saw or realized what I was doing and now, I am very careful about gloms. I structure myself daily to make sure that a glom does not cause me to avoid or put off important things.
It doesn’t happen this way for most, but for me it can, so I am very careful now.
With all that said, glomming is a wonderful thing when I do find an author that clicks. I really mean that.
Gemini I see what you are saying, LLB, and agree that it is a MUCH healthier coping mechanism than many other things. I’m in one of those dark periods right now, too, and books really are a geniuine solace. I like to believe there may be instances where books, particularly romance books, because they inspire hope, may even have a huge positive impact. For myself, though, what I have noticed is that while they certainly give me comfort, they also cause or allow me to procrastinate in addressing the issues that sent me screaming into my library to begin with. Because I become absorbed in someone else’s problems, I delude myself into thinking that I can postpone dealing with my own for the space of one book, which becomes two, then three, and so on. Before long, I end up a bigger problem than I started with, LOL, because I have ignored unpleasant realities for too long. It’s not healthy to become so absorbed in something to the point that you are oblivious to everything else, including perhaps the issue that drove you to the behavior initially, and that is the point at which the glom can become detrimental. I love my books, but I don’t want to be fiddling while Rome is burning, either :~). So, in my case, I just have to work at keeping it from becoming the sole focus, but others may be able to keep a more balanced perspective. Barbara Along with the procrastination of dealing with issues in my life, my glomming serves to give me a sense of control. When I am struggling with circumstances which are extremely frustrating, I sometimes choose to lose myself in an experience which I Know will have a HEA. So, I agree there can be the dark side of self delusion. Like LLB I do think it’s safer than many ways to escape. Helen No, you don’t need prozac. Books are so much healthier. I became a reading junkie when my Mother died when I was 8. Teachers etc actually became concerned about how much I read!! Troubled children can do a lot of bad things, self-harm, steal, do drugs, and they were worried I read! People can strange. I still read a great deal but not to block out the world the way I used to Ingrid To me that’s the dark side of reading, and yes very recognisable. I learned to read when my parents divorced, and books became my escape. And sometimes I can still spend all my time escaping. I pity the people in the past who could not read, or if they could, did not have the amount of fiction available that we do. Imagine not having that wonderful refuge available and having to take life straight! Suzanna My first romance-as-romance glom was MJP. “One perfect rose” was the book that got me reading romances. I read it on holiday, then did the rounds of all the secondhand book shops as soon as I got home.
My longest-running glom has been for Dinah Dean, an English author whose historicals are set mainly in England & Russia. I’ve collected nearly all of her books over the course of several years. That left me with two longer historical novels to find. One of them turned up at the library’s cancelled book sale. The other one – the one I really, really wanted – turned up at a book fair. When I spotted it I thought I must be seeing things – I only just stopped myself from dropping all my other books and throwing myself on top of it in case it tried to get away.
I’m still looking out for one of her books written under a different name – it’s listed on Abe, but at US $48 plus overseas postage I don’t think I’ll be getting it there. One day I’ll be in an op shop somewhere…
I think glomming is closely related to collecting anything – you look for the books because you want to read them, but there’s also the fun of the chase. I also collect bookmarks, the giveaway ones from shops/libraries/charities etc. The thrill of spotting a particularly nice one is very much like spotting a book you’ve been wanting to read, whether in the library or for sale.
Kathy I laughed when I read this because I almost did the exact same thing when I was on my Anya Seton glom. I was at a library sale. I was walking between two long tables with others milling about looking when I spotted a copy of “Green Darkness” which had been propped up in the middle of a gazillion books. I could not believe it because it was already two days into the sale. There were others in front of me and between me and that book. It took all self control not to just shove everyone between me and that book aside.(grin) I actually broke out in a sweat thinking someone would grab it before I got there. I could tell the lady in front of me was eyeing it but she was also in conversation with her friend when I finally said “pardon me” and reach across her and got the book. I just couldnt stand it any longer…. lol. MMcA I used to love second-hand bookshops because there was always that possibility – on some dusty shelf you’d find *that* book. The internet is brilliant for finding books, but the downside is that you don’t have those triumphant moments of discovery. I’m grateful really, because it’s satisfying to be able to locate any book you want, but it’s a less magical process finding them – a transaction rather than a quest.[I’m still hopelessly drawn to second-hand bookshops, but the anticipation, the ‘maybe this time…’ feeling – that’s gone.]
Mark The individual books that stand out for me are The Parfit Knight by Juliet Blyth and Sizzle by Jennifer Crusie because I found each after looking for a long time AND then found a second copy of each (which I passed on to correspondents) not long after the first.
I recently glommed Elizabeth George’s Lynley/Havers mystery series. I’d read the books pretty much as they came out over the years but had dropped the series about five books ago. Then I read the last and was compelled to go back and read all the ones I’d skipped. Reading them so close together meant I noticed a number of themes and foreshadowing that I might have missed if I’d read them years apart. I don’t know if E. George has done a complete story arc (such as J.K. Rowling did for the Harry Potter series), but my recent glom indicates that she might. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so I might be reading too much into this, but it did seem to me to be a benefit of close reading.
Robin L This happened to me with the Charlaine Harris/Sookie Stackhouse series. By the time I started reading it, three were already published, and they hooked me as a group. I don’t know if I would have gotten AS enthusiastic about the series had I not been able to gulp so much of her world down at once. But having that bigger arc really made me feel invested in her worldbuilding more intensely, I think. Karen S
That’s exactly how I felt about JD Robb’s In Death Series. Started reading the series around 2002, so had a lot of catching up to do which actually was a impetus to keep reading so I could find out more about the world Robb had created in 2059 New York City.
Sometimes it’s a help to discover a series later so the reader gets a better and more complete picture of the world the author has created from reading the books back to back.
I also did this with Sue Grafton’s books about Kinsey Milhone, the Alphabet series. Started when she was on the letter K and quickly got caught up with the series. By the the time L was released, I was thoroughly familiar with Kinsey’s world.
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