5 responses to “Dirty Little Secrets”

  1. Brian

    Hey, Billie. How do you feel about “Frozen?” I dare you…

  2. Amanda MacNaughton

    Awesome! A grumpy post! I’m always wanting to write those and feeling like it’s not “allowed”–by whom, I’m not sure. Thank you for writing one! Maybe I’ll get brave and do one someday, too.
    Some of my dirty reading secrets are: I hardly ever read what everyone else is reading at the time, whether it’s a bestseller or the Deschutes County Read the library picks out. I think a lot of those books are worthy books; it’s just that everyone else is reading the book and telling me about it, so I don’t actually have to read it in order to sell it, and frankly, I get tired of hearing about it.
    Also, anytime someone tells me “You HAVE to read this book!” it immediately prejudices me against reading it. I guess I just have a contrary nature and I don’t want to be told I HAVE to do anything.
    One of my “didn’t-love-it” confessions is Garth Stein’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” I did read it, and enjoyed it, and handsold lots of copies. But I don’t think it’s the best of his books. I liked “How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets” and “Raven Stole the Moon” better. Happily, once people have read “Racing in the Rain,” they’ll usually gobble up his other books.

  3. Cedar

    I love this post! I am a bookseller at Paulina Springs, and I frequently feel a little self conscious about my reading choices. When it’s time to select our staff picks, I sometimes disappoint myself by picking things I know will be well-received. Two examples that come to mind are “The Circle” and “Ocean at the End of the Lane.” Both are stellar books, and I love discussing and hand selling them, but they were already bestsellers. Some of my other favorites would benefit more from the extra spotlight. Here are some of my shameful literary secrets:

    I’m really not interested in Boys in the Boat or Unbroken. I recognize the quality of the writing and cultural value of the books, but they’re just not “my thing.”

    I feel shy to admit that I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow Libba Bray as my favorite author– my copy of “A Great and Terrible Beauty” is as worn out and loved as a first car.

    For every five novels, I read maybe one non-fiction book… and that book is seldom anything that’s particularly culturally valuable. Usually it’s about parrots.

    I don’t like mysteries. At all.

    It’s also worth noting that my shyness is usually unwarranted. We have great customers, and they never seem to mind that my tastes veer away from the bestsellers when they ask for a recommendation. People are protective of their favorites (I know I am) but they’re also often open to exploring new literary paths. This month I put Libba Bray’s latest on our staff picks table. Next month it will be something from Max Barry!

  4. Cynthia Claridge

    Billie you must have touched a nerve with the booksellers at Paulina Springs Books, because I am one also (3/4 responses). I totally agree with your thoughts about Goldfinch – it was at least 150 -200 pages too long! And I got tired of her beating me over the head with her message. So often after I finished reading a section, I shut the book and then screamed “I get it!! I get it!!” I loved her first novel ‘The Secret History’ and was extremely disappointed in her Pulitzer winning novel! I guess my dirty little secret is I can’t stand most self-help books or celebrity tell alls. Isn’t great that we all enjoy different genres and that there are titles for all of us to read and enjoy! Thanks for your post.

  5. Ted Lucia

    My “must read” literary sensation of 2014 with which I had a lot of trouble was A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA. I was prepared to love this book and was able to get through it, but the author seemed more intent on showing off as a wordsmith than in creating well rounded and understandable characters who have a role in meaningful plot.

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