Of course, my novel is not novel. At first, this was a big disappointment, but I'm used to discovering how unoriginal my ideas are--I'm a programmer, too. I don't want to read the handful of books that are very similar to my own, but should I? I want the details of my work to be original and all my own. I don't want ideas inspired from somebody else's book bouncing around in my head, but I know it'll happen if I read them. Should I be familiar enough with similar works to guarantee sufficient differences? As I've fleshed out my outline, I've become confident that my approach is unique, even if the events might be similar to a host of other stories, so I'll probably read them... What'd you all do?