Tess Gerritsen Still Prefers to Read Books the Old-Fashioned Way, on Paper – The New York Times

Posted By on July 21, 2021

Do you distinguish between commercial and literary fiction? Wheres that line, for you?

Im not sure I know how to draw that line. Ive read complex commercial fiction with gorgeous writing and Ive read literary fiction with pedestrian plots. Sometimes its simply the publishers decision how to label a book. If they give it an abstract cover and pages with deckled edges, they signal to readers: This book is literary and important. And if a literary novel becomes a best seller, doesnt that make it commercial?

How do you organize your books?

Other than my medical and forensic textbooks, which I keep in one particular bookcase, my book collection is completely unorganized. If I read a book and think its a keeper, I put it wherever theres room on any of the shelves scattered around my house. And yet, weirdly enough, if I ever need to find that book years later, I know exactly where it is. I also know if someones moved it.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?

Im agnostic, yet I keep the Bible, the Quran and a book on Jewish literacy on my shelf.

Whats the best book youve ever received as a gift?

Chinese Cuisine: Wei Chuans Cookbook, by Huang Su-Huei. I received it as a wedding gift decades ago, and that beloved, grease-splattered copy is still on my kitchen shelf.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

I was obsessed with the Nancy Drew mystery series, not just because it was a genre I loved, but because Nancy was the ultimate role model for a young girl. She was clever, fearless and she drove her own car! Later, as a teenager, I read and reread Tolkiens Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If you were to write something besides mysteries, what would you write?

If I have a burning desire to write something, Ill just write it whether theres a market for it or not. Ive written science fiction (Gravity), historical fiction (The Bone Garden and Playing With Fire) and now Im at work on an espionage novel. Id hate to reach the end of my life and think: If only Id written that one book I was dreaming about

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didnt? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

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Tess Gerritsen Still Prefers to Read Books the Old-Fashioned Way, on Paper - The New York Times

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