Sunday, December 18, 2005

Glomming an Author

Glomming an author is a phrase used among avid readers (of which I am one) to describe the act of reading or re-reading many or all of the titles by a certain author. When I discover a new author that I really love, I'll generally look for all their backlist of published works so that I can read everything they've written.

When I discovered Lois McMaster Bujold, for example, I ran through everything she'd written with obsessive intent, and then I re-read them all again. I LOVE the Miles Vokosigan series and I fervently tout the books to all I can. I re-read certain pivotal books in that series once or twice a year (Memory, Komarr, A Civil Campaign). My point--from which I have slightly digressed, is that there's just nothing like the realization that you've found a new author that you love and the joy of discovering they've got a substantial backlist!

Currently, I'm glomming Jayne Ann Krentz. I've been reading Jayne's books for twenty years now--which upon reflection makes me feel quite ancient--and picking up one of her earlier books is like visiting an old friend. Some I know better than others, I could probably re-write "Ravished" the regency published under her Amanda Quick pseudonym from memory. Right now I'm glomming her contemporaries, and I've just re-read "Twist of Fate", "Lost & Found", "Sharp Edges" and "Trust Me". I'm ready to start "Absolutely Positively" but I was diverted from the glom by "The Song of Bernadette" which is the book upon which the movie with Jennifer Jones is based. I adore the movie and I'm enjoying the book as well.

I generally like to re-read books when I'm going through a stressful time--busy at work, or caught up in something outside of work that limits my concentration and energy. Reading a new book requires focused energy that isn't always available and then there's the risk that the book will disappoint. I know some people don't understand why people re-read books, but for me, it's a guaranteed win-win. I know I'm getting a book I'll enjoy, and I know that it'll relax me because I know what's coming next, and if I really like the characters or the author's voice then it's comforting to revisit.

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