I found an interview with the author who caused a furor a few weeks back when a blogger gave him a bad review and was greatly amused by one of his responses. Asked to recommend or at least list a few of the writers he reads, he admitted his ego was too big to bother with anyone other than himself. Or, rather, he said he didn't have time to read, which translates to the same thing.
I'd much rather read a writer who shows enthusiasm and appreciation for others. Like, say, David Sedaris, who's been promoting George Saunders on his recent reading tour. He read half of "Ask the Optimist!" when he was in Charlotte last month and sold copies of The Braindead Megaphone along with his own books. I found that very cool.
Or like the writers mentioning their favorite books in the annual Guardian best of the year list this weekend. My tbr list is much longer now that I've finished the article --I added books recommended by authors I've long admired and I'll be looking for the previously unread writers who happened to recommend books I'd read earlier and enjoyed; I should enjoy them if we have a shared taste, right? Fortunately I've already purchased or placed a library reserve on several of these books; the others have yet to be published in the U.S. I'm going to try to resist placing international orders for awhile.
And now I'm off to do some honest-to-God reading. I've been too distracted with the traveling and the cooking the last few days to manage more than a handful of pages.