After that they browsed for a minute or two in a semi-detached fashion. Nick found a set of Trollope which had a relatively modest and approachable look among the rest, and took down The Way We Live Now, with an armorial bookplate, the pages uncut. 'What have you found there?' said Lord Kessler, in a genially possessive tone. 'Ah, you're a Trollope man, are you?' 'I'm not sure I am, really, ' said Nick. 'I always think he wrote too fast. What was it Henry James said, about Trollope and his 'great heavy shovelfuls of testimony to constituted English matters'?' Lord Kessler paid a moment's wry respect to this bit of showing off, but said, 'Oh, Trollope's good. He's very good on money.' 'Oh... yes... ' said Nick, feeling doubly disqualified by his complete ignorance of money and by the aesthetic prejudice which had stopped him from ever reading Trollope. 'To be honest, there's a lot of him I haven't yet read.' 'No, this one is pretty good, ' Nick said, gazing at the spine with an air of judicious concession. Sometimes his memory of books he pretended to have read became almost as vivid as that of books he had read and half forgotten, by some fertile process of auto-suggestion. He pressed the volume back into place and closed the gilded cage.
We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently. Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, "A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules." Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.
Discussions of the effects of serial publication of Victorian novels on their authors and readers1 usually draw attention to the author's peculiar opportunities for cliff-hanging suspense, as, for instance, when Thackeray has Becky Sharp counter old Sir Pitt's marriage proposal at the end of Vanity Fair's fourth number with the revelation that she is already married, and the reader must wait a month before the husband's identity is revealed. Or it may be pointed out how the author can modify his story in response to his readers' complaints or recommendations, as when Trollope records in his Autobiography how he wrote Mrs Proudie out of the Barchester Chronicles after overhearing two clergymen in the Athenaeum complaining of his habit of reintroducing the same characters in his fiction.
Oh, don't get me started! I love fantasy, I read it for pleasure, even after all these years. Pat McKillip, Ursula Le Guin and John Crowley are probably my favorite writers in the field, in addition to all the writers in the Endicott Studio group - but there are many others I also admire. In children's fantasy, I'm particularly keen on Philip Pullman, Donna Jo Napoli, David Almond and Jane Yolen - though my favorite novels recently were Midori Snyder's Hannah's Garden, Holly Black's Tithe, and Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I read a lot of mainstream fiction as well - I particularly love Alice Hoffman, A.S. Byatt, Sara Maitland, Sarah Waters, Sebastian Faulks, and Elizabeth Knox. There's also a great deal of magical fiction by Native American authors being published these days - Louise Erdrich's Antelope Wife, Alfredo Vea Jr.'s Maravilla, Linda Hogan's Power, and Susan Power's Grass Dancer are a few recent favorites. I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope - I re-read Jane Austen's novels in particular every year.Other fantasists say they read Tolkien every year, but for me it's Austen. I adore biographies, particularly biographies of artists and writers (and particularly those written by Michael Holroyd). And I love books that explore the philosophical side of art, such as Lewis Hyde's The Gift, Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life, or David Abram's Spell of the Sensuous. (from a 2002 interview)