It's book awards season. Otherwise known in my brain as that time when I remember all the good books I'm not reading, panic slightly about how I will ever have time to read them all, remember that I don't have an unlimited book-buying budget, cry, and go home.
Not really, but it does always cause me some anxiety. I love books, but it's overwhelming sometimes how many of them there are. I had a lot of this type of anxiety in university, when it seemed absolutely essential to read every single classic, not to mention all the obscure essays/poems/novels that no one has heard of now but obviously changed forever the landscape of essay/poem/novel writing and because of which nothing will ever be the same. I eventually let this go, because it was either that or invent a time machine, and I'm pants at science. (I obviously got far enough into the British contemporary realm to learn the modern slang usage of the word pants.)
But, as some of you may know, I work in publishing. I'm pretty new at working in publishing, relatively speaking, and while I love my job I would eventually like to move into something different, and to do that I know that I'll need to be more up on the contemporary book scene that I am. So my anxiety about needing to read every book ever hasn't really gone away, it's just changed. Classics don't matter now; contemporary fiction does.
How do people do this? Libraries only go so far, and I never have the patience for them anyway. Plus, though I know award-winning books will probably be good, that doesn't mean they're always going to be my first choice. Do people in the industry just read enough reviews to sound like they know what they're talking about, or do they actually read everything relevant to them? I suspect the former.
Anyway, the point of this post is, I guess, to appeal to some rich book-buying patron. Anyone? Do you guys find yourselves wondering if you should be reading something, even if you don't particularly want to?