Oops, I’ve already read this one

I read two kinds of fiction, dime-a-dozen thriller and police/black ops books from the grocery store and literary fiction by established authors. The major books I remember, the grocery store novels I occasionally buy a second time without realizing I’ve already read them.

Some people keep yearly reading lists. If I did that, I would never again sit down with a “new” novel and 15-20 pages and realize I’ve been here before. I’m not organized enough to log in every novel I read into a spreadsheet.

Years ago, my wife and others who read romance novels used to complain about authors/publishers re-issuing old novels under new names. The authors I read don’t do that; it’s just that in spite of the over-the-top James-Bond kind of action, the plots and action don’t vary that much. So, the descriptions on the backs of the books don’t provide me with enough information for me to make sure I haven’t already read the book.

In general, I write better when I’m reading. So I go through dozens of books a year. Some I enjoy re-reading, but not the grocery store black ops stuff. Unlike Amazon, Publix and Food Lion don’t display a message with each book on the shelf that tells me when and if I purchased it in the past.

My reading is always in a state of chaos and it’s too late now to get it under control. Does anyone else find themselves buying the same books more than once, though not intentionally? As William Bendix often said on the old TV series “The Life of Riley,” “What a revoltin’ development this is!”

Malcolm