So today I am starting a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! At the moment this may not happen every friday, but they will always appear on Fridays. These posts will be all about my thoughts and opinions on bookish things and movie things. This week I am going to talk to you all about Author Backlists
You know when you stumble upon a new author that you fall instantly in love with because their book was magnificent? Do you then feel it is necessary to read every book they have ever written, no matter the genre or concept – or, hey, even pseudonym? Or are you the type of person that is okay just reading the books by that author which appeal to you? Or, essentially, does it all just depend? This is what I want to discuss with you today and as everyone is different, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter so please feel free to comment or even respond to me on twitter or facebook.
Recently I have been researching the authors that I absolutely and completely love and am sometimes surprising myself by finding books they’d written that I hadn’t known about. But sometimes, I’m not even sure that I want to read them. Sometimes, I’m okay knowing that the books I have read I really thoroughly enjoyed and don’t need to read any more books by that same author. Yet, at the same time, sometimes when I find a book by an author that I haven’t read, I find myself itching to get my hands on it and dive into it, sometimes without even bothering to read the synopsis because I just want to read everything they have ever written.
The reason I want to know how you feel is because there are so many authors out there who I love with all my heart, authors who I would happily call my favourite authors of all time who have books I have never read and a small part of me feels guilty that I haven’t. For an example, if you’ve been following this blog or my vlog, then you’ll know that I am a HUGE Malorie Blackman fan, like I nearly cried when I met her, and yet, I have recently discovered that she has a lot of books – mostly in the MG category – that I haven’t read, let alone even knew about. And a part of me aches from not having read them yet but at the same time, I also don’t feel the need to read them because their subject matter doesn’t appeal to me.
But it also happens when I discover a new author. So, recently, I have fallen in love with David Levithan’s books but I also found out that he has a large backlist of books he’s previously published and I don’t know that I’ll ever find the time to read them all, but I’m also not sure I want to. Is it okay to just love the books that you have read of theirs and still call yourself a fan of their work? Is it still possible to shout your love of them as writers from the rooftops if you haven’t read every single book that they’ve have published?
Then, on the other hand, there are authors who I have discovered as debut authors and have stayed with them through every book that they have released. Authors like Julie Kagawa – although I haven’t read her novellas, so maybe she doesn’t count! – and Hannah Harrington, and Veronica Roth. But is this only because when I started reading their books, they had only just begun, they didn’t have a backlist and therefore it was easy to just read everything they published? Or is it simply because I am so in love with their writing that as soon as I hear they’re publishing something else, I have to read it?
Another reason I’m curious to know what you think is because a few weeks ago I read a book by an author that I adore, and have always classed him as one of my favourites, that I truly didn’t like. It was Khaled Hosseini’s new book, And the Mountains Echoed, and I just really struggled to get through the book and that really disappointed me. It made me look at him as a writer in a new way and that shouldn’t have happened. My expectations were too high because of what he had already written and I just found myself utterly devastated that this book didn’t meet them. If I hadn’t read it, I would have been able to still sing high praises about Khaled Hosseini but now I find it difficult.
And that is why I still haven’t read The Casual Vacancy or The Cuckoo’s Calling. I love J. K. Rowling. She is, by far, my favourite author of all time. Her series made my childhood, and my teenagehood. Her story made my life feel better and gave me hope at times when I just needed it. It allowed me to find my voice in writing, it gave me a chance to write every single day and she showed me how magical books can really be. But I’m just worried that if I read her adult novels, I won’t like them and I’ll end up losing my high opinion of J. K. Rowling and that is something I never want to happen. But, at the same time, I feel bad for not reading this books. If I’m such a fan of her and her work, then surely I should be supporting her through this new venture as well? If I don’t, how could I possibly call myself a fan of her work?
Essentially, I think, for me, who I read and what I read of their work really does depend on the author, how much I love them and how much I am willing to risk. I am certain that I will eventually read both of J. K. Rowling’s books, even if they fill me with fear and anxiety, just because of who wrote them. I know there are some authors whose backlists I will never complete and I’m okay with that as well, because I enjoyed the books of theirs I did read, and there will be authors who I will seek to read every book they have written before and will write in the future. But it will always just depend.
But I want to know how you feel about it all. Do you feel you want to read every book an author has written and published? Or are you okay just reading what you have done? Or, are you like me, does it all just depend? I’d love to hear from you!