I often see sf forum posts from bewildered sf fans asking the audience what they should read next. People are quick to offer up their favorite titles, both past and recent. This usually results in the undecided reader having a rather nice selection of titles from which to choose.

Being a self-proclaimed biblioholic, I have the opposite problem. I have no problem finding books to read, I have a problem deciding which books to not read. There are too many from which to choose. I own so many darned books (Hello, my name is John and I’m a biblioholic) that I cannot possibly read them all in my lifetime unless I suddenly develop inhuman Klausnerian powers that would allow me to read about 50 of them at a clip.

On the bright side, picking my next book is a whole lot of fun. When I need to restock my “immediate” to-read pile, I get to rummage through the “library”. (The term “library” here is meant to mean an inordinate number of boxes filled with books that I want to read.) This is loads of fun for me because it’s like going to a bookstore where every single book is something that interests me. I swear, I’m like a kid in a candy store.


People who look at SF Signal’s aesthetically pleasing home page will notice that some of us have book shelves showing what we are reading or will very soon read. The eagle-eyed viewer will notice that my own shelf changes quite frequently. This is not necessarily because I’m a fast reader. No. This is because I’ve probably rummaged through the boxes and found something that supplanted something already on my shelf.

For example, I will be traveling this week and wanted to bring along a small handful of books in mass-market paperback format. Oh, goody! A reason to dip into the book boxes! I usually bring more than I will probably read because I want to have a book handy that will suit my mood. (Hello, my name is John and I’m a biblioholic.) This week, I’m bringing Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (I finally got around to reading the novella on which it was based and liked it very much), Scardown and Worldwired by Elizabeth Bear (parts 2 and 3 of the booksplit “series” that started with Hammered) and Camouflage by Joe Haldeman (recent winner of the Nebula Award) . I’ll be lucky if I finish one of them.

Am I rambling? It’s late and I want to get some reading in…

Anyone have any idea on what I should not read next? :)

Filed under: Books

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