authors i keep wanting to read but don't

My book list is extremely long, so long that I don't call it a reading list or a to-read list, because I will never read even half the books on the List. It's more like books I would read. A list to narrow down the universe of books to a smaller universe of books to choose from.

Working in a library has increased the likelihood that I won't read even a majority of these books -- or decreased the percentage that I will read. Where I used to stick faithfully to my List, I now read lots of books not on the List -- books colleagues or customers talk about, and more often, books on display. Being a librarian has broadened my reading, which I love. It has made the List less a goal and more a general guide. This is fine.

Recently I noticed that certain authors appear on the List more than once, but remain unread. These are sometimes nonfiction titles that become hard to find. I'm clearly interested in the author's topics, but by the time I am ready to read the title, it's gone. I could find the book online, I'm sure, but I just move on to another title. There are many novelists on the List, too.

I don't delete anything from the List. It's a running list I've been keeping since 1985. That is either impressive or insane, depending on your point of view. I have a system for marking what I have read, and another marking for books I own but have not read. (There is much less of that in recent years, another result of librarianship.)

I have read so many books not on the List, and it bothers me that I didn't add them, but I can't change the method now. I could, but I can't. (In the library, we are told to "track our reading" in order to be better readers' advisors. I don't find this useful, so I don't do it. Please don't tell.)

I thought of this -- the authors that keep appearing but don't get read -- because I just started a book by John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics and writes about language. I noticed that many titles by McWhorter are on my List, and decided it was time to read one.

So. (I have just been reading about the word "so".) Here are authors who are on my List who I haven't read.

Frans de Waal
Carl Safina
Ann Douglas (this Ann Douglas)
Ann-Marie MacDonald (who I never heard of before coming to Canada)
Yxta Maya Murray
David Ebershoff
Trezza Azzopardi
Robert M. Sapolsky
Sally Denton
Kiran Desai
Ivan Doig
Edwidge Danticat
Mario Vargas Llosa
Siri Hustvedt
Margaret Laurence
Colm Toibin
Ted Conover
Helen Oyeyemi
Paul Greenberg
Barry Unsworth
Sarah Waters

This list does not represent all the authors on the List -- not even close. Only those I have never read who appear more than once.

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