“I started reading Ed McBain when I was probably 11 or 12,” [Stephen] King said, looking at his row of several novels by the prolific author of crime procedurals. “The bookmobile would come by. We lived out in the country. The first thing I remember is, I’m reading one of these books, and [detectives] Carella and Kling go to interview a woman about some crime. And she’s sitting there in her slip and she’s drunk, and she grabs her breast and squeezes and says, ‘In your eye, copper.’ And I thought to myself: This is not the Hardy Boys. Okay? It made an impression. It felt more real.”
Also, King about why he doesn’t think about his legacy:
“There are very few popular novelists who have a life after death. Agatha Christie, for one. I can’t think of anybody else who’s a popular novelist, really. People like John D. MacDonald, he was a terrifically popular novelist in his day, but when he died, his books disappeared off the racks. They were ultimately disposable. I think that a couple of the horror novels might last. They might be read 50 or a hundred years from now, ‘The Shining’ and ‘Salem’s Lot’ and ‘It.’ If you ask people, ‘What vampire do you know?,’ they’d say, ‘Dracula.’ ‘Well, who invented Dracula?’ ‘I don’t [expletive] know.’ So, 50 or a hundred years from now, people will say: ‘Oh, Pennywise, the clown. Yeah, sure.’ ‘Who is Stephen King?’ They won’t know.”
— Book Tour: A tour of Stephen King’s personal library
Now I’m thinking about deceased popular novelists who are still bringing in new readers in large numbers. Asimov? Bradbury? Is Hemingway widely read by anybody younger than Boomers?