You get asked a lot of questions when you’re a best-selling author. You get asked just as many questions if you’re me—they’re just about different things. One of the big ones I get asked is, “Who do you read?”
I typically answer, “I’m not carny folk. I don’t read people, I read books.”
Then when the person gets done punching me, I grab the nearest ice pack and we sit down to talk about my latest reads. We mostly talk about the latest, because I read a lot of books.
For the record, Stephen King is right. To be a writer, you have to read a lot. In fact, he’s so right that I have to mail him a royalty check for every book I read. The good news is that I’ve read enough this year that I can claim him as a dependent on my income tax form.
But I digress.
The real problem with reading, even reading a lot, is that there are always more books out there than you can actually read in your lifetime. So you gotta get the good ones.
How do you find ’em?
You could listen to your sister, or your aunt, or what have you. But then there’s that old Italian proverb—A faithful friend is worth 10,000 relatives. And while your friends are great for moving couches and crying on their shoulder after break-ups, should they really be your literary go-to?
Case in point: I have a friend who reads fishing books. Fishing books! Books about fishing. There’s no way to say it and make it less horrible. I’ve been fishing and the only thing worse that I could imagine is reading about someone else doing it.
Seriously. It has all the appeal of the Encyclopedia of Flossing. For the record, the saddest thing about that joke is that there probably really is an Encyclopedia of Flossing. Like you’d read a volume as a palate-cleanser between fishing books.
Bet my friend has it on a shelf somewhere.
But I digress … again.
You could always get your recommendations from Books-a-Million or Barnes and Noble—assuming you get one of the employees that actually reads. Which should be a job requirement, am I right?
“What are you reading right now?” should be the first question when they sit down for the job interview. And if the answer is “um…” or “I’m not really much of a reader,” which is what the last guy said when I asked where I could find Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King, show them the door. You may even have to explain its use.
Good luck learning how to flip burgers, you illiterate knob!
Sorry you had to see that.
Okay. Fine. I digressed my way to the end of another blog.
But if you’re looking for some YA recommendations, check out Brittany’s Book Rambles.
Don’t say I never gave you nuthin.