"Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?" - Karl Kraus
Here's my small "d" dilemma. I liked "The Gathering" (2007) by Anne Enright enough to read more by this prodigiously talented author. But my list of authors to read again is so out of control. How do I prioritize? How many authors are on your list? How do you prioritize? Help!
My dilemma has lately produced an odd side effect. When encountering authors with simply serviceable craft, a kind of perverse relief ensues as I recognize their back catalog - or future work - is not going on that ever-swelling list of mine. Before you recommend medication for me, first examine your own line of thought when you finish a book and say "meh". After your initial annoyance having wasted your time, aren't you even a little relieved you can scratch that author from your list?
After deciding several years ago to base any future I might have with authors by using my last experience with their work as the sole judge of that future - whether it was my first or tenth exposure to that particular author - I really thought my list would start becoming more manageable. But books like "The Gathering" keep appearing, written by authors new to me. And old favorites like Anne Tyler and new favorites like Jennifer Egan keep not letting me down. Darn it, anyway.