I am currently rereading a book that I dearly love - "Please Pass The Guilt", a Nero Wolfe novel by Rex Stout. Due to lack of space where I was living, it had been in storage for eighteen years. It has a musty smell to it, and I had to scotch tape the cover where it was ripped. It has a permanent place on my bookshelves, along with books by authors such as Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Dorothy L. Sayers, Laurie R. King, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgens Clark, and Erle Stanley Gardner.
Each of these authors has gifted us with not only unforgettable stories, but with unforgettable characters. I didn't have to read past page one to be back in the time of Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe, and the unforgettable Fritz. I could tell you how the house was laid out, where the orchids were, how the office was arranged, and that Nero Wolfe rarely, if ever, left the house. And that, for the most part, their finances needed to be augmented by a client or two.
These are more than just pleasant memories for me, and this is more than a trip down memory lane. In reading these stories, in remembering these stories, I find the bar that I need to set for myself for my stories. I need to create settings that are believable and memorable. I need to create characters that stand on their own, that interact well with other characters, and that lend themselves to a series. I want my stories to be stories that are read over and over again, for pure pleasure.
In the meantime, I will be going through boxes of books that are packed in my guest bedroom, set aside the ones that I am, keeping, and box up the ones that I will either not read again, or that no longer hold my interest. Yes, I did this before I moved here a little over two years ago. I did this again after I had been here for almost a year. And this may not be my last time, but I am fine tuning what I have around me book wise, so that what I surround myself with supports me.
My questions to you would be: "What are you reading? What books are you surrounding yourself with? Do these book support who you are now, and what your current goals are?"
(c) February 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission.