Genii in a Book

by - 3/07/2006

There were days, once upon a time, when I couldn't find/get enough books to read. The tiny town I lived in had an equally tiny library. Once I'd exhausted its meager capacity, I had no option but to go back and re-read the same books, over and over again. It got to a state when I didn't really need to read a book as I'd subconsciously memorized entire parts of it. Sounds boring, but it wasn't. What made the tedium worthwhile was discovering that tiny missed gem of a nuance or a subtle bit of a dialogue previously overlooked and which gave me an entirely new insight into the book. In other words, I'd find something new everytime I read a book.

These days, I have the exact opposite problem. I don't have time to re-read, even if I wanted to, which is generally the case with old favs like Jane Austen or P.G. Wodehouse. Each month brings a flood of new releases, all of them equally tempting and bursting with promise. I want to read each and every one of them. I know there are books out there just begging for the privilege of sitting on my already-bursting-at-capacity keeper shelf. Unfortunately, I can't. I don't have the time to read all the ones my editors and publishers keep sending me, let alone re-read recent books that have scratched and clawed and scrunched their way onto my keeper shelf.

I still remember - As a child, I'd just read 'Aladdin' and was enchanted with the prospect of a genii popping out of an old lamp. As I went around rubbing stuff old and new around my parents' house under my mom's wary gaze, I was furiously thinking what I'd do if a genii did indeed pop out. Aspiring beauty queens perhaps wished for world peace, aspiring politicians perhaps wished for more gullible voters, aspiring astronomers perhaps wished for more galaxies. As for aspiring bookworms such as myself, my wishes always boiled down to simply one - I wish I could get and read all the books I ever wanted to without ever getting tired or sleepy.

I'm still wishing, but now my wish has modified somewhat. I wish I had more time to read. I wish I had time enough to re-read. And if I really, badly like a story, I wish it didn't end. Barring that, I wish I didn't have to wait the countless days, months, years, until the author published the next installment, if that. This is a rare case scenario I'm talking about as it doesn't happen very often. Just the occasional Harry Potter book or maybe the next book in Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series, perhaps even the new Dan Brown book or the latest...Wait a second! I never quite realized how many books made my 'Dying to Read' list. The number of books that don't make this list is staggering but then, like my garden, you have go through the weeds before you can even begin to see the flowers.

The laurel of being the latest book to make this coveted list of mine rests with "Working For The Devil by Lilith Saintcrow". I'd never read this author before. Only the chance reading of a blurb somewhere prompted me to request it from Warner Books, and they were kind enough to promptly send me a copy. Saintcrow now has a devoted fan in me. She's created a fascinating new world in the not-too-distant future with its denizens numbering psychics, necromancers, demons etc that's even more absorbing that it sounds. More on that later. My mission in life now is to get and read all her previous books dealing with this futuristic new world - if I have the TIME, that is! Hopefully the author has more time than me and writes the next book in the 'Danny Valentine' series quickly.

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