Sunday, August 30, 2009

The -To Be Read- Pile

The Pile is growing, and I have no control over it anymore. Barnes & Noble has come to expect my "Pick Me Up" reservations on a weekly basis. Usually by Wednesday, I've requested at least one title, perhaps two and my former co-workers shake their heads when they see my name on the customer holds update list.
You see, there's this new feature on their website that can get book maniacs their Fix quicker than the dealers can push a street drug. If this had been around when I worked for their company, I would have despised it...and maybe I still do. It's costing me money, but then again, wouldn't I be spending on these titles anyway? Now I'm just spending at a faster rate. But like I was saying, if this had been available over five years ago, the regulars (who were die-hard Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy readers like I am now) would've had us busy from open 'til close, fielding special orders and reassurances that the titles were on their way or close to it.
I never thought I'd be one of them either. The Fantasy Chasers, that is. I was all about my Erica Jong and Alice Hoffman, and completely content with my Best American Erotica annuals...until Twilight came along. Yes, yes...I know...I should be ashamed of myself for falling head over stupid heals for a vampire...a teenage vampire at that. I should be, but I'm not and I even own a Team Edward top that I will wear in public if only to garner empathy for my husband from others of his gender. Twilight reintroduced me to myself from back in the day (though that was only about 14 years ago) when little Miranda kept a list of known Hollywood monsters on her wall, complete with their weaknesses, talents, dangers, and how they could be killed with a capital K. At eight years old, I began my Zombie Apocalypse plan and saved my allowance for the grocery store where I would secretly purchase heads of garlic to store in my closet.
Initially, I was resistant to the suggestions and the proding to read this series because I saw that it turned the readers (nearly all of my female co-workers at B&N) into swooning victorian women who would promptly faint onto the nearest chaise lounge upon the mention of Edward...or Jacob, if they were inclined toward a bit of literary rebellion. Plus, I was a book snob. Yea, I was, and I'm ashamed of that former self because I held myself back from being entertained. Wasn't that the point of reading? To be entertained? I'd become more of a reader in early high school in thanks to a few book reports that needed to be done, which then led to other authors. I was happy with my deep dramas, epic titles, and unknown names, and I loathed the kind of people I might who swooned over R.L. Stine. Fear Street be damned, I was an Intellectual, and I would not stoop to the things that went bump in the night.
That was until I finally picked up Target, of all places. I was bored, had a lot of time on my hands, and I'm convinced at this point that my subconscious intervened in my reading habits that day out of sheer necessity for escape. Escape I did. I disappeared into Stephenie Meyer's world and I became Bella. I fell in love with Edward..deeply in love with Edward, and I hated anything that took my attention away from his grasp. My whole self started to change with that book, as I'm sure other authors have reached their devoted audience. An author is successful when they gain a reader but they are truly gifted when they gain a following.
When I finished the book, I wanted more immediately. I took suggestions from online sites and stores, researched their reviews, and made a list of ISBNs...I am a former bookstore empoyee afterall and it is only common courtesy to know what-the-fuck you're after. Hint Hint. I then discovered Sunny, MaryJanice Davidson, and Kim Harrison. It hasn't stopped there...far from there, in fact. I've resisted a few authors only for fear of disappointment, which has a occured a few times since my new genre interest. Also, this new heightened awareness of the Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy genre has somehow connected to people I used to work with whoom I thought hated my guts...Turns out, I only had to fall in love with the same Vampire.
So now I get to my original point, which is that my TBR pile is not as large as it had once been, but it basically stays the same size, since stuff gets added to it as soon as something leaves it. The TBR is it's own mystical entity I think, and only because it has the power to make me salivate with eagerness and cringe in horror all in the same moments of reflection and examination. My TBR will be featured in quite a few of my future blogs, in case anyone needs some reviews and recommendations.

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