Monday, June 11, 2012

Reading through the library

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with books. I could sit in my room and read for hours. My mom would ground me by taking my books away, or sometimes she would take them to make me go play outside. My middle school was next to the city's public library, so on certain days I would go there for a couple of hours and she would pick me up from there.
When I looked at the rows of books it had been my goal to read all of them. Didn't happen of course, but one day when I was struggling to find a good book to read, I remembered that goal and went to the first shelf, first book, and started reading.
The first book I'm guessing to be in the "cozy" category, a subcategory of mystery. It was awful. I won't post the book titles for my negative reviews, but I honestly don't know how this got published. The writing was mediocre at best, and the plot had holes in it. I stopped reading when someone was murdered in broad daylight on the street in front of a shop holding its grand opening, and no one saw a thing. Worse yet, the main suspect was an old, fragile lady and the victim a big, strapping man, killed by stabbing.
When I read it, it gave me hope. If something this awful can get published, so can mine, however difficult it might be to go traditional these days. It was published recently too.

The second book I started came out in 1989. It's kind of a flashback for me because that's the year I graduated from high school. I'm about halfway through the 400 pages and the title is Agent of Influence. It's REALLY good. Talk about character sketches- the characters are very appealing. What I keep thinking is how a good book can fall into obscurity. After you've made it to publication, there is no guarantee of success.

That's it for today- I'm off to the zoo with the kids!

15 comments:

  1. I guess a lot has to do with how well the book is marketed. A mediocre book can generate lots of attention and profit with aggressive marketing. Sad to think so many good books go unnoticed simply because they lack expensive marketing campaigns. ):

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    1. So true! How else would someone know to check out a good book? I sometimes go into a bookstore and walk out empty handed because I'm so overwhelmed by the choices.

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  2. Holy crap... this bad book you're talking about sounds comical! One word for that book getting published: Politics. LOL.

    And it's SO true about good books falling into obscurity... sad! But fun when you stumble across a hidden treasure ;)

    And have fun at the zoo today! :D

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    1. The first book brought one word to mind- ridiculous. I guess it would have been funny if it wasn't so annoying to me! :)
      Funny thing about the second book was that I had no expectations for it and balked at starting it, then I couldn't put it down.
      (We did have fun at the zoo, even though it rained. The kids liked the puddles!)

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  3. "If something this awful can get published, so can mine." Awesome and so, so true.

    Enjoy the zoo! A great way to spend the day!

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    1. Funny how encouraging that thought could be! The zoo was fun too.

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  4. There are no guarantees. There are so many factors that play into a book being noticed. One is people talking about it. As long as people keep talking about it, as you did, the book will keep living.

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    1. That's right! It is about that. And just the fact it's still in the library gives it hope.

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  5. This post brings to mind something funny or not. I read to my kids the minute they could be propped up in my lap. I wanted them both to love reading and they do. But one summer, my daughter was reading soooo much that I couldn't keep up with the supply and demand. At one point, I walked into our living room where my eight year old daughter was reading (no tv there) and said, "You need to stop reading and go watch some TV." Immediately, I knew it was a stupid statement and we both laughed.

    I try to keep this in mind about terrible books. Somebody's heart and probably soul went into that book. If nothing else, I need to respect the effort.

    Teresa

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I purposely left out the title because I don't wish to hurt anyone, and I'm sure there is someone out there who enjoys those kind of books. It just wasn't me.

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  6. I love libraries, my library card is the second most used card in my wallet.

    It was great to hear that someone else has puzzled over how certain really bad books get published, and it gave you hope to getting published too. I like to think of those kind of books as "what not to do." :)

    Andrea

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    1. I agree with you on learning from the books I do NOT wish to emulate. Sometimes it's easier to see what the problem is then to figure out how the good writer's use their craft so amazingly.

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  7. Not only did my mom have to keep prying books from my hands and shoo me out of the house, but she often had to storm my room at midnight and take away my flashlight, since I was using it to read under the covers!

    Good luck on your writing! :-)

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    1. Okay, you were worse than me! Thanks for joining my blog and for the laugh. :)

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