Friday, February 28, 2014
Call Me Cheap
Here’s what I think I think:
I have discovered that the best way to get “into” a prolific author is AFTER that author has already been established and gotten a good number of books published. If you can manage to get “into” them a decade after they hit the scene, then you’re really going to be able to have an inexpensive, enjoyable, relaxed time reading their books. If you read them a decade later and they stink, then they were probably stinky to begin with. You just aren’t all caught up in the hype. Which is a good thing in my book.
Last fall I started reading the John Grisham books. In case you live under a rock and don’t know, John Grisham is a best selling writer of “legal thrillers” who almost single handedly turned the genre into a huge industry. His first big book was his second book, “The Firm,” which they made a movie out of. In fact, they made movies out of most of the books he wrote over the first ten years of output. The movies were pretty much in the category of “just okay” because they could communicate the plot lines and story ideas of Grisham (which is not his greatest strength), but they can not communicate the flair, simplicity, smoothness and readability of his writing (which are his real strengths). Movie makers have the same problem with writers like Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. John Grisham could write about pretty much anything, I think, and make it readable. In fact, I wish he’d try some other things more often. I’d love to see him team up with a horror writer and see what happens. Or just write a novel about monsters and see what happens. But that’s just me.
The point here, though, is that I didn’t start reading his books until this past fall. I started with his first (and one of his best) books, called “A Time To Kill.” This book was published in 1989, 24 years before I started reading Grisham’s books. I finally just decided to see what all the hub bub was about.
I didn’t give thought to this at first, but I really liked the book and have been progressively reading through his canon, like you would do with any author you really like. But, because I’m behind the times, I have been getting these books very cheap, on discount racks, at the library, or loaned to me by people who’ve had them sitting on the shelves for years, collecting dust since they read them years ago. As a result of this, when his new book came out last fall, called “Sycamore Row,” which happens to be a sequel to the first novel, “A Time To Kill,” I was not at all tempted to jump into the “gotta have it now” fray. I’m still way back at “The Broker” (2005). I’ve got plenty of time to kill (ha ha) before I get to the new one. And I’m happy to work my way to it, watching the price drop and drop as time goes by. Why? Because I am not a rich man and I think it is stupid of me to get something NOW for reasons that don’t make any sense.
I have stopped buying books when they first come out. That, I have determined, is for rich people.
So, you do what you want. I won’t interfere. I won’t judge you. But I’m going to go ahead and let those other people out there, hustling through the hurley burley, worry about reading the latest and greatest book by their author of choice. Let them pay top dollar to read it the day it comes out. There are plenty of those people and their obsessive nature will always provide retailers with big income and all the rest in our gotta have it now world. And when those readers finally give decide to clean house and donate that book to a book sale, where it will probably sell for a quarter, I’ll be there to pick up the pieces.
And I’ll enjoy it just as much.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2014