Bookish Ramblings

The 11 Stages of Reading an Author Out


We all know that indescribable joy experienced when we find an author new to us whose work we just LOVE from the outset. Discovering a large back catalogue almost makes us swoon with excitement. Even though our TBR pile currently resembles the leaning tower of Pisa, we just have to get our hands on absolutely everything this author has ever written.

But you don’t want to binge read here. You want to spread the joy, draw out the pleasure brought by knowing there are more books out there you haven’t read yet. (This is not dissimilar to trying not to consume the entire box of Milk Tray in one sitting). But this requires willpower and you’re a confirmed, life-long member of the Bookaholic Club.

Here are the 11 stages of reading an author out:

  1. Delight – there are loads of books here just waiting for you to get your hands on and they’re all wonderfully weighty tomes. In fact, there are so many that it’ll take you years to read everything this author’s ever written and they’re still releasing new books. Even if you exercise the utmost restraint, pacing yourself and only buying one (or maybe three) of their books as part of your annual holiday reading, they will still last you a really, really, really long time.
  2. Blissed out read-a-thon – real life takes a back seat as you build yourself a reading cocoon. It’s warm and comfy with ready supplies of tea and chocolate and, of course, The Book(s). There’s even a snoring cat and/or dog for company. You don’t need anything else to survive. This is it. Forever.
  3. Overspending – never one for willpower when it comes to books, you slip up and ‘accidentally’ throw a ‘couple’ of this author’s books in with your latest Amazon order. It was Amazon’s fault anyway, they were sitting there at the top of the “Recommended For You” list. This inevitably leads to varying degrees of “oops” and “oh shit” when your credit card statement arrives.
  4. Improved aesthetics – this author’s books displayed on your bookcase look wonderful. You’ve had to do some serious rearranging of existing residents in order to get them all on one shelf but it’s looking marvellous. They’re like familiar friends waving at you as you go about your daily life.
  5. Pride – it’s been 3 months since you discovered this author and you’ve managed to limit spending and only buy half the back catalogue. Then you see their new book has been released, tempting you from the supermarket shelves as you do your weekly shop. It’s been recommended by Richard & Judy – and somehow the book magics itself from the shelf to your trolley.
  6. Inevitability – the discovery that the new book is part of a trilogy being released over the next couple of months totally excuses you from the Pacing Yourself Plan. You cannot possibly be expected to wait years for the next instalment. That would just be tantamount to torture.
  7. Delusions – but it’s OK, despite a couple of slip ups, you’re still pacing yourself and quite frankly, the willpower you’ve displayed is remarkable, prize-worthy even. Every book has totally been worth the deviation from The Plan as they’re all just utterly brilliant. You tell yourself there are still loads of their books left to read. And you could just buy this one book and give it away as a present…
  8. Curiosity – it wouldn’t hurt just to check iBooks and Kindle to see if they’ve released any online only content; a free short story perhaps? Oooo, look, this book you haven’t read yet is 99p this week only. You couldn’t possibly turn down a bargain – that would just be rude.
  9. Throwing caution to the wind – right, that’s it, you’ve had enough, the gloves are off. Sod Pacing Yourself and worrying about your bank balance – who were you trying to kid?! You only want to live in this author’s books. Cue binge order from Amazon and at least a week spent hibernating, doing nothing but reading. You emerge stunned from the beauty of the writing, the brilliance of the author’s ideas and plot twists, hoping that one day you will manage to write something equally as amazing.
  10. Despair – you’ve read everything this author’s ever written. Everything. What will you do with your life now? You couldn’t possibly read anything else, nothing will ever compare. You scour the internet for news of any of their upcoming releases but it’s an empty wilderness. It’ll be years before they write something new. You turn your attention to your TBR tower but just can’t seem to focus. Real life is colourless and lifeless.
  11. Self-recriminations – Why did you abandon The Plan? There would still be more of their books to read if only you’d stuck to it. What on earth are you going to read on your upcoming holiday now? Maybe the internet has the answer… Oooo, look, this book seems really good, other people who love the Best Author In The World have read it and liked it… Oh my, it’s really good. What else has this new author written?

The above is a rather too accurate accounting of my love-at-first-sight relationship with Elizabeth Chadwick’s novels. Who’s your literary passion?

If you enjoy blogs like this and haven’t yet discovered her, I recommend the lovely @BlondeWriteMore as she’s very good at these!

© This blog is an original rambling of Eleanor Small


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