I remember, I was getting ready to get my undergrad degree…I had this night class, a lit class, and during our last official class period of the semester, we all brainstormed essay questions for our final. (We were supposed to write out answers to two questions and slip them in the prof’s mailbox.) Once everybody had their questions ironed out, it all got informal and chatty. One of the students asked the prof, “Where do you find books to read?”
I never forgot that. She was totally serious. She was a soon-to-graduate lit major, and she had no idea where to find books. Now that they weren’t going to be spoon-fed to her, anyway. Now that they would no longer be assigned, how could she find good books? Books worth reading?
We don’t give enough attention to that question, really. I think adults really do have a hard time finding books. Especially since books don’t come to you much anymore–you have to seek out books.
Where do I find books? I find them in the trade pubs I subscribe to: Publishers Weekly, Booklist, etc. I buy books after seeing them mentioned by readers online. I get enticed by reviews in my local newspaper.
I’ve discovered indie authors, picked up Pulitzer Prize winners, binged several series. I love how those newsletters are just the great equalizer–indies featured side-by-side with traditionally published authors. And they’re so cheap, I can load up my ereader the same way I once loaded up my arms with giant stacks of library books during those summers when I was a kid.
Oh, and the answer to her question–how do you find books worth reading? The book that’s worth reading is the book that speaks to you–that keeps you up at night, that you can’t wait to get back to, that makes you think or feel or hope.