“Oh yes, I’ve always wanted to read one of his books.”

I say this very often. Every now and then, I follow through. Usually though it means “Oh yes, I’ve had one of his books on my shelf for three and a half years” or “Oh yes, I always pick up one of her books in the store, read the blurb, stroke the cover, then put it back”. In shamefully uninformed moments it can be translated as “Hmm, that name is sounds familiar and prestigious”.

Yesterday I learnt my lesson. I was at Exclusive Books, browsing for something to go  with my coffee and the couch at Seattle. I picked Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt. I’ve always wanted to read one of his books. He writes humorous fantasy and sci fi, genres that often deliver that brand of weird which, for me, makes a really good read. Some of his books have enticing titles like You Don’t Have to be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps and Snow White and the Seven Samurai. For three years I worked at a branch of Exclusive Books that was perpetually well-stocked in Tom Holt titles, but I never once applied one of my sweet staff perks and borrowed or bought a copy.

It still hurts a little from when I slapped myself.

Three pages into Blonde Bombshell and I’d have bought it, it if it weren’t an overpriced trade paperback and I didn’t also know that the smaller paperbacks have much cooler covers. Ten pages, and I’m hooked on the mystery plot. At the end of chapter three I actually gasped aloud at the chapter’s cliffhanger. When I hit chapter five I went to ask a sales assistant if they had any of Holt’s other books. They didn’t. I gave her my name and asked her to pick anything they had on order and reserve it for me.

The point of this post? Stop phaffing about when it comes to those books you’ve “always wanted to read”. Kick aside your mental blocks and try new things. Chances are there’s a good reason you wanted to do it in the first place, and you’ll be missing out if you don’t.