I call it my crime reading history but to be honest I don't really have much of one. Like most kids who are moving on from Enid Blyton and the like I went on to read the books my parents liked before discovering my own favourites. So in my early teens I read John Grisham because my dad was a fan and James Patterson because my mum liked those. Now I honestly couldn't tell you with out looking it up which ones I have read and which ones haven't. It's been that long and clearly they had a big impact on me (actually the only ones I remember in detail are the ones I saw as movies later). I soon moved away from them as I discovered I much preferred horror, sci fi and fantasy and I never really went back to them because I eventually became a bookseller.
I am the first one to admit that being a bookseller turned me into a bit of a book snob. I say a bit because I didn't actually judge others for what they read. I honestly thought I had good book knowledge before then but I was so wrong! So when I first started as a bookseller I was only willing to admit to one particular kind of trashy read (and most booksellers have them) and in this case that was fantasy because it was what I was reading most of at the time. After that the only way I would go near crime was to shelve it or help a customer. My book knowledge grew thanks to this job. I learned and loved so many different authors I probably wouldn't have otherwise. My book snobbery also grew though which is quite funny since I would happily work my way through children's books (and still do). Actually you will find an awful lot of booksellers who do. It's more common place than you think.
I then moved stores and it was a little bit like a breath of fresh air. For once I was probably one of the biggest book snobs there. Most people there didn't care what others thought of their reading choice (unless of course you were sharing a favourite book or author). They also didn't care what you read unless of course they were interested. Some of these people became my closes friends and they all read crime quite happily. They would make fun of the fact that I refused and eventually gave up trying to get me to read them. We shared plenty of other tastes so it didn't really matter.
I don't know what made me do it but eventually I picked one up. I read "The Bone Collector" by Jeffery Deaver. Surprisingly, I very much liked it. I have now only a couple of books left in the Lincoln Rhyme series to read. It's been fun as I know a number of others who are fans and have loved talking to them about them or swapping books. I didn't really try any other authors until last year when I read the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I haven't stopped raving about these books since. Not only are they well written but they have the ability to make you lose all sense of time as you read. The last one I stayed up till 4.00am reading. As a result I have decided to open my mind to reading crime. I have recently finished the first Charlie Parker book by John Connolly (an author I greatly admired previously anyway) and have picked up a few others.
I am still a book snob don't get me wrong. You won't catch me in the romance section. You certainly won't catch me reading chick lit (a pet peeve of mine). You also won't catch me reading biographies by famous people barely out of their teens. I will keep a more open mind though because I can't help but wonder what else have I missed out on?
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