Taking a page from Emily, Amateur Weeder, and Nicole, I've decided to compile a list of my most-read authors. Naturally, it's an odd list that doesn't actually reflect my current reading tastes. Emily and Nicole cut off at five but since my numbers aren't as huge I decided to stop at three.
Dean Koontz - at least 30
Anne Rice - 18
Peter David - 9
Isabel Allende - 6
Toni Morrison - 6
William S. Burroughs - 5
Dan Simmons - 5
Roberto Bolaño - 4
F. Scott Fitzgerald - 4
Mark Twain - 4 (one was an anthology)
Virginia Woolf - 4
William Faulkner - 3
Hermann Hesse - 3
Jack Kerouac - 3
I went through the Dean Koontz bibliography on Wikipedia and counted all the titles that sounded familiar. I was a huge Koontz fan from the time I was about 11 until about halfway through college when I realized that all his books were following the exact same formula, centered on exact same stock characters, had too many damn superdogs, and each one was preachier than the last. While I still hold several of his works in high regard (particularly Phantoms, Winter Moon, and Seize the Night), I no longer seek him out.
Anne Rice was another high school favorite - something about all that WANGST just appeals to teenagers, I think. I've read pretty much everything she's written that wasn't either Christian or erotica. I still do like her and strongly recommend her but, at the same time, haven't picked up any of her books in a long time, other than a recent partial reread of The Witching Hour.
Peter David - Star Trek novels. All of them.
Isabel Allende was yet another high school favorite I no longer read. So were Burroughs and Kerouac, as part of a wannabe-iconoclast phase. I actually owned Burroughs's The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, and Nova Express at one point but never, ever made sense of any of them. I think I gave them away to a used book sale, although I still have Naked Lunch and Exterminator!
Toni Morrison, Mark Twain, and William Faulkner - meh. Once again, I liked Morrison better when I was younger. Maybe it's time for a reread? Was assigned As I Lay Dying in college and couldn't stand it.
I like Woolf but can't say I love her the way Emily does.
But Hermann Hesse, Dan Simmons, Roberto Bolaño, and F. Scott Fitzgerald - love them all!
In closing: favorite authors ≠ most-read authors. It was an interesting exercise, though, one that reflected my changing book preferences.
Update: I forgot Faye Kellerman until Jill reminded me in the comments! I've read 15 of her books which puts her between Anne Rice and Peter David. I still enjoy her Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series and just learned that there is a new one out I haven't read yet.