Booking Through Thursday: Rolling


I wasn’t going to answer this week’s Booking Through Thursday question. I have so much other stuff to bring you guys, and the past two days have been crazy busy with running nonstop that I didn’t want to give a pithy one-word answer.

Here’s the question:

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…

Really. I wasn’t inspired.

But then I came across the answer given by my friend Karen! and I knew I had my reply. Karen reads more than I do; she read 200 books in 2006. (By contrast, I *only* read 144.)

Her comment was that when she reads a lot of one particular kind of book, everything tends to run together in her head.

And you know what? I have to agree. It happens to me, too. And it’s sad.

As writers, we all want our works to stand out in our reader’s brains. We want our readers to tell their friends to read OUR books. Comparisons to other authors are flattering, absolutely. But when you confuse something we slaved over for something that someone else slaved over… well, that means we’re not doing our jobs as well as we should be.

And that we readers aren’t doing our jobs as well as we should be, either. No matter how many books of one genre we want to devour, we owe it to ourselves and to the authors to switch things up. Cleanse the palate, as it were.

So instead of rolling with an author, a series, a genre, take a break. Eat some lemon sorbet or crystallized ginger. Cleanse that palate and then return to what you’re hooked on.

I bet whatever it is that’s caught you on fire will be that much better for it.

And who knows. Maybe you’ll find something else that sets you on the same sort of fire.

Happy reading!



  1. Darla

    November 30, 2007 2:31 pm

    Yes!! That’s exactly what happens to me, and that’s why I’m very, very careful anymore about varying my reading. Even if it’s nearly irresistible, I’ll force myself to read at least one completely different book in between two books of a series so they’ll stand apart in my mind.


    November 30, 2007 2:42 pm

    That’s a good answer, and so true. Although if its a series I have to read them all within the same time frame otherwise I forget over time. (no matter how much I liked the book).

  3. gemma

    November 30, 2007 3:02 pm

    Great pondering material. I think I do do that. It’s kind of like snooping. I read one in a series and I have to know what came before, who are these people what’s their life been like before I ran into them. Then I’m off on a hunt for the rest of the story.BR/BR/Michele sent me…I’ll be back. I have to know more.

  4. LisaMM

    November 30, 2007 3:19 pm

    I said basically the same thing in my post for BTT, but you said it better!! Maybe that’s why you’re a real writer and I’m just a blogger.

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 30, 2007 3:20 pm

    Don’t put yourself down, Lisa!BR/BR/Maybe it’s because I managed to delete my initial post and had to rewrite it!

  6. Deborah

    November 30, 2007 4:02 pm

    I wish I had read 144 books this year! Maybe next…BR/BR/DeborahBR/

  7. Becky68

    November 30, 2007 4:20 pm

    Oh I agree, I tend to do that too- read many books by one author in a row, or many books on the same general subject or in the same time frame. I’m trying to at least alternate a little bit just lately though.BR/Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! BR/

  8. The Turmanators

    November 30, 2007 6:09 pm

    What marvelous advice. As an exhausted stay at home mom, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, and I don’t have the time or energy to seek out new stuff. As a result I spend most of my time in the mystery section of our local library! Embarassed to say that I love the genre but it is known for it’s dearth of truly GOOD writing. TIme for a change!BR/BR/Glad Michele sent me today!

  9. karen!

    November 30, 2007 8:32 pm

    oh, I feel so special. :blush:BR/BR/I guess I’d better go write the post I promised yesterday 😉

  10. Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

    November 30, 2007 11:27 pm

    I read the same few authors a lot, because I get grossed out so easily that I dread finding another author, but you have an excellent point.

  11. pussreboots

    December 1, 2007 12:50 am

    I agree. For the “Baby Steps” Challenge I’m participating in, I’m reading the M, N and O books in the Sue Grafton series. Then to add even more confusion we listened to R is for Ricochet on tape over Thanksgiving. I have four different Grafton plots all muddled in my head now. BR/BR/Happy BTT.

  12. Shelley Munro

    December 1, 2007 5:34 am

    I might read two or three before swapping to another author or genre. I’m going through a Western romances blitz at the moment but I’ve read the odd historical and contemporary between to keep the reading palate sharp.

  13. November Rain

    December 1, 2007 9:21 am

    Fire is a read roller BR/If he reads book 1 he has to read 2 and 3 and so onBR/BR/me it dependsBR/If it is a good book then I will read book 1 and all sequels but if not I normally one finish the first bookBR/BR/Michelle sent me today

  14. Nikki-ann

    December 1, 2007 2:57 pm

    As per usual, I have a pile of books to get through. My books-read total this year doesn’t even get into 2 figures, in fact I can count them on one hand. It’s sad, because I really do enjoy reading, so I must get back into it. I plan to make a start over my Christmas break.

  15. Nikki-ann

    December 1, 2007 2:58 pm

    P.S. – I forgot to say… Michele sent me!

  16. gautami tripathy

    December 1, 2007 3:15 pm

    I read whatever takes my fancy or not. It is no big deal. However I once went on roll about Perry Masons. My brother has all of those, I think.BR/BR/Not that I see him reading now. He only reads those BIG tomes of techie books!

  17. gautami tripathy

    December 1, 2007 3:16 pm

    Blogger IS acting foolish!

  18. utenzi

    December 1, 2007 3:50 pm

    Michele sent me over, Susan.BR/BR/I rarely ever intentionally read books on a theme but I find that it often occurs anyway. Just a few months ago it seemed that every book or magazine I was reading would contain references to an excavation that occurred in some ruins in the jungle off the Belize coast. I must have seen at least 15 mentions of the place. It was really weird. And then I’ve not seen a reference to that in the 2 months since.

  19. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 1, 2007 3:51 pm

    That IS weird, Utenzi!

  20. Dewey

    December 1, 2007 7:06 pm

    This happens to me, too. And not just with books, but also with music! For years, I had Pearl Jam and Nirvana mixed up, until Nirvana eventually separated itself out and became a big favorite. Same thing with Radiohead and Coldplay, and then Radiohead separated out and became probably my current favorite band. As for books, I still get Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Safran Foer mixed up, both because of their names and because I read their books one right after the other. In fact, I think the Book Review recently had one of those last-page essays about authors people commonly mix up because of their names.

  21. LA Day

    December 1, 2007 9:42 pm

    It’s the same with writing. I write paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ocassional contemporary. If I write too many paranormal or sci-fi stories they start to run together in my head so I switch around.BR/BR/You don’t want to feel like you’re reading or writing the same book over and over!

  22. Brian

    December 1, 2007 10:46 pm

    Dear Susan,BR/BR/Thank you very much for your kind comments on Gautami’s blog in reference to my first novel, “Real Magic”. Thank you also for the contact information.BR/BR/I read all the time, I don’t keep track of how many books I read yearly. However I figure I’ve read over 10,000 books in my life.BR/BR/A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”Brian/A

  23. No Nonsense Girl

    December 2, 2007 12:58 am

    I haven’t been reading in a while. (I mean more than a few pages)…

  24. gautami tripathy

    December 2, 2007 11:08 am

    I would like a glass of lemon sorbet. I can’t stand crystallized ginger.BR/BR/Michele sent me here to tell you that I seem to be in some kind of roll over Picoult’s noveles. Purely unintentional.BR/BR/What do I do if I get those as gifts?

  25. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 2, 2007 11:09 am

    Trade ’em online at BookMooch, of course! *grin*

  26. Jill

    December 2, 2007 11:28 am

    Since I read mostly the same type of book, I don’t think I do fall in that category. BR/I might need some help from you later, I’ll try to find it on your site, because I know you are busy lately….

  27. FRIGGA

    December 2, 2007 12:43 pm

    Hey silly – I did leave you a comment on Friday!! 😎

  28. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 2, 2007 12:45 pm

    Really? Uhhh… well, thanks!

  29. Julia

    December 3, 2007 3:51 am

    Did you said you read 144 books? That is lot more than what I’ve read so far. I managed only 50 books.BR/BR/Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

  30. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Susan’s Book Talk: A Natural Fit of a Reading Challenge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *