When I started to get seriously interested in mysteries, I wanted to read everything. I knew that wasn't possible, of course, but I made a run at it. I'd already read Poe and Doyle, so I started in on Queen and Christie and Carr. I read one Nero Wolfe novel after another. I searched out obscure hardboiled writers. I read paperback originals by the dozens. At the same time, I tried not to neglect the up-and-coming writers. In those days that meant people like Westlake and Block and Ross Thomas. John D. MacDonald was getting the Travis McGee series started.
I get the impression now that a lot of mystery readers don't care about anything that wasn't written within the last five years or so. If it's older than that, they just don't have the time for it. I can see why. There are a lot of new writers, and it seems as if there are ten or fifteen new books coming a long every week. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe people just getting interested in the field still go back and read a lot of the good old stuff. Or maybe I'm right and they just don't care about all that.
What do you think?