Hello; my name is Judith, and I have been reading books–well, before I could walk. My mother and my older sister would hold me and read to me from these wonderful things they had–magical things. At first I only memorized the words on the pages by the illustrations, but at some point in my fifth year, lying in bed supposed to be asleep but really watching the letters hover and float and circle in my mind, 5 of those letters arranged themselves to spell the name of my younger sister. I was in shock. I went and woke up my father–“Daddy, Daddy, do you spell “Kathy” K-A-T-H-Y?” “Yes, go back to sleep.” Sleep? How could I sleep when the limit circumscribing my world had just cracked? I’ve been reading ever since.
The first time I was paid to be a professional reader, Randall Toye hired me to help him assemble THE AGATHA CHRISTIE WHO’S WHO. A group of penurious graduate students across several disciplines (mine was Philosophy) were assigned to read a certain selection of Ms Christie’s works. Later, Randal asked me to co-author THE AGATHA CHRISTIE CROSSWORD PUZZLE BOOK, using materials previously mined from the first book. Randall composed the evilly tortuous and clever British style crosswords, while I put together the US type–but in the days before computer software, even the comparatively simple US puzzles were demanding. And in these latter days of publishing, I am still astonished that we received a $5k advance on that little puzzle book.
After graduate school, I was hired to work at a book wholesaler to the mind/body/spirit trade; at first, reviewing titles to pick up was only one part of my duties, but after some years (and developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, limiting my ability to type) it became my sole job there. I did take 3 1/2 years off to attempt running my own bookstore; but I discovered during that time I was not cut out for retail, nor had the dedication required to make an indie bookstore a success. That bookstore failed, along with that marriage; and with gratitude and relief I accepted my former employer’s offer to return. I was senior buyer until October of 2010, when my job was terminated. If you can tell me how a book wholesaler to the trade doesn’t need a dedicated book buyer, I’d love to hear about it.
With this blog I intend to review both forthcoming as well as backlist titles. I have rather a broad range of interests, so anything might show up here; I hope you’ll return. I’ve come down with a cold, so my usual enthusiasm is damped, but I trust that to be transitory.