Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You owe it to yourself #8: Keeping up to date

Over the past two months I've said a lot about reading your current favourite genre; focusing on award winners, classics, and trying to define exactly what your favourite genre are. This week I'm going to switch from the old to the new. I'm talking about the currently best selling books in your genre.

If you are well known among your friends and co-workers as "The Fantasy Guy" or "The Comic Book Guy" or even "The Non-Fiction Guy" it wouldn't hurt for you to keep an eye on one of the many best-sellers lists available on line for books you should be reading.

Being a Canadian, my first stop is The Globe & Mail best-sellers list. As I run a small library I like to think that I keep up-to-date on what my fellow Canadians are reading. Next I go to The New York Times best-sellers list. I like the fact that my neighbours to the South also keep track of the best-selling graphic novels each week. For a more specific comic list I check out the best-sellers at Diamond Distributors.

I'm not saying that you should limit yourself to only reading best-sellers, just like you shouldn't limit yourself to only reading one author or one genre; what I am saying is that you should be aware of the current big stuff in your genre of choice. I'm a huge horror fan, it would be silly for my friends to think I was unaware of the entire Saw series or the Twilight books - actually I didn't like either of them - I like my horror movies with less torture-porn and my vampire books with more, you know, VAMPIRES in them.

Basically, if your friends and co-workers are reading about your genre in the paper or online, you owe it to yourself to know what they are talking about, even if the stuff isn't exactly your favourite part of the genre. Otherwise you quickly fall out of the loop and are no longer seen as "The Horror Guy" and are instead simply seen as "That guy who says he likes horror but doesn't even know what Twilight is about."

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