Thursday, August 19, 2010

Am I Too Picky?

When a large group of galleys come into the store, the staff members at the Odyssey Bookshop all take turns in the kitchen flipping through the books, reading jacket copy, and ultimately, selecting titles he/she wants to read. I'm sure we all have different methods of sorting through the stacks, but I tend to first look at the spines of all the books to see who the publisher is. As it turns out, I'm much more likely to take a chance on a novel if it's published by one of my favorite houses than if it's from a publisher that has a less than stellar track record with my reading tastes.

Yesterday, however, when I was looking through the latest batch, I found myself wondering if I was being too picky. I had picked up a title (admittedly because it has a beautiful cover), but I immediately put it down again when I saw who the publisher was. Not only did I put it down, I made an audible "ugh" sound. Then I thought to myself, wait a second, am I punishing a potentially brilliant writer simply because I don't often read/like the works his publisher puts forth?

There are many, many books out there in the world, so I know I have to have some system of deciding what gets moved father up my to-be-read pile, but I'm not sure if my preferred method is always a good way to do it. So, I'm putting aside any preconceived notions and I'm taking it home to see what it brings me.

Emily Russo Murtagh

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