Roaming the Stacks

Roaming the Stacks

Why I wish to build a fan base for authors:

While musicians take the stage and perform for their fans to rousing applause, while visual artists paint and sculpt for an opening maybe months away and open themselves to critique and praise, writers sit silently at a keyboard or writing pad and work their craft. If published, their fans and readers quietly sit and applaud the work. But alas, save a book tour where fans ask inanely why this or why that, writers rarely witness the joy, first hand, that their books bring to the readership.

I love these guys. My passion includes music, film, sports, TV and all the rest, but reading a good book is such joy and if you find authors you recognize on these pages, continue your support. If you can find a new writer to latch onto, all the better. Go to the web sites, explore the stories and the storytellers. Have you own favorites? Soon there will be a Roaming the Stacks Blog so you can tell us. For now use the contact


The Prologue to Roaming the Stacks

December 2003

 Sometime in the mid-90’s I began thinking in terms of reading for entertainment. I had been reading six-eight books a month and a pattern was emerging. Crime and mystery fiction along with some fairly offbeat stuff had become my genre of choice. Of course, at twelve years old I had read over thirty of the Hardy Boys series so I guess it was my nature to love continuing characters, heroes and villains and the whole Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning thing.

 Frankly, I don’t feel alone in this passion. I know there are tens of thousands who read what I read and more. But, I also surmise that the popularity of television shows such as Hill Street Blues, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, and on and on indicate a much wider interest in the very same genre, however in a different medium. Many movies follow suit and lead me to theorize that people, if they find the discipline to locate books that entertain in the manner of TV and film, might just take to reading in enormous numbers. Certainly the traffic at large chain bookstores support this theory. (2010 notation…and Amazon and e-readers and more)

 Although I have nothing against bestsellers, (I’m certain any writer would like to have a few) I would like to point out that Roaming the Stacksis about finding new authors, some rising stars, and tracking down trusted recommendations.

 (web site anovelview is no longer active)

I have been contributing to a web site called anovelview. The editor, known as Storyteller, offered a broad spectrum of reviews and recommendations in just the manner of support that an avid reader needs. The support that I received included to be included on the site came from a recommendation from local Washington, D.C. area author, George Pelecanos.  Two of the writers I have reviewed for Storyteller came from his guidance; Dennis Lehane and James Sallis. Both were recommended over five years ago and now Lehane’s Mystic River has made its mark on the big screen.

I’d like to think that I have some of the good taste of my reading mentors. I will attempt to cover a wide range of authors who develop characters, locales, and plot lines with both style and wit. Considering the disappointment in many of the movies that I see, the tiresome scripts and endless breaks for commercials on television and contrast it all with the relaxation from the stresses of daily life gained from a few minutes of quiet reading. How can it miss. Reading 40-50 pages a day will have you reading an average length novel each week. And, of course, my mantra is to always start another book as soon as you finish the last page. You know the saying, “So many books, so little time.” Well then, Roam the Stacks and make time to read.

 Editorially, JS

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