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In a reading runt! HELP us book gods!

Lately, I haven't been able to read any books that I enjoy, not like I used to. There was once a time I could pick up book after book after book after book and read to my heart's content. Writers used to really pull me in from page one. I miss the days of walking into Wal-Mart, grabbing a random book off the shelf in the "African-American" section, taking it home, and enjoying the heck out of it. Ya'll know what I'm talking about. Back in the day when BET had Arabesque, it used to be all the rage.  So many of the novels I read from them took me away like Calgon.

Remember when we appreciated the Beverly Jenkins, the Brenda Jacksons, the Francis Rays, the Maureen Smiths, the Carmen Greens, the Rochelle Alers, the Donna Hills, and so on? Damn, how I miss those days. When a romance novel sucked you in from the first page and didn't let you go until days after.

Now when I walk into Wal-Mart and go to the book section, I almost get depressed. First of all, the section is a hell of a lot smaller. Second of all, this book climate has made it damn near impossible for me to want to try any new authors. It's like trying to find a piece of hay in a hay stack. Yes, you read that right. The market has become overly saturated. Anytime I pick up a new author's work, I'm mostly disappointed.

As an avid reader, this market saddens me. I miss the days when you had to send an author snail mail to reach out to them. And I have to wonder, who's schooling these new authors? Are there no editors telling them the truth about their work? Also, I refuse to buy any books from Amazon if I'm not very familiar with the author. That place is like a cesspool. It reminds me of those scenes in stock market movies where all the brokers are in the middle of the floor yelling and tossing papers around. That's how I imagine Amazon. Anybody with a laptop, pencils, and pads think they're an author now.

I've been burned way too many times to even think of trying new work from an author I don't know. It's so bad, I won't even spend $.99 for a new author's work. I'm saddened and disappointed by this notion as I'm sure that underneath all the sh*t may be a diamond. I've been trying to read two books for months now and I just can't get into them. This annoys me. I'm praying for the day I get excited to read again.

Don't get me wrong, I have my favorite authors like Eric Jerome Dickey, Brenda Hampton, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, and so on. I read whatever they put out because I have yet to be disappointed. However, as a reader, I just don't know what to do. So I sit, wait, wish, hope, pray...May the book gods look down upon us and have favor. May they save us from this madness!

Until then....


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