Saturday, August 14, 2010

Evolving as a reader...or not: the return of BTT

I was in the mood to do one. I'm going to try to blog more regularly, especially since the conclusion of Big Exciting Issue is on the horizon at my newspaper. Big Exciting Issue has been with me literally since I started the job. I've written probably 20 stories on it, at least, which is a lot for a weekly newspaper. But the people in the community I cover vote on Big Exciting Issue in four days, and after it's all over with, I anticipate having both more time and energy, and yes, possibly a little hole in my life to fill.

So without further ado, I give you this week's BTT question:

Evolution August 12, 2010

Have your reading choices changed over the years? Or pretty much stayed the same? (And yes, from childhood to adulthood we usually read different things, but some people stick to basically the same kind of book their entire lives, so…)

I never really thought about it too much until now, but it's an interesting one. When I was little, I liked fantasy a lot, especially the Narnia books and Lloyd Alexander. My best friend and I spent hours searching for the gateway to Narnia (we ruled out everywhere near both of our houses, fyi). As an adult, I read the Harry Potter books and the His Dark Materials trilogy, but I'm not a fantasy buff. My few forays into adult fantasy were rather disappointing.

I hated sci-fi then. I still do.

I went through a brief Agatha Christie stint (article in the New Yorker about her this week, WHUT WHUT) but never really got into mysteries. I'm still not.

I had an 'incident' with a Stephen King novel when I was a teenager. I still avoid the horror genre.

So all that pretty well narrows it down to realistic fiction. But I definitely find the kinds of books I've been drawn to changed as I got older. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never been able to get into fiction set in a radically different culture than my own. (I still think Mr. Library Diva's inability to get into a book with a female protagonist is worse, but still). I like character-driven fiction better than plot-driven. But I don't know if that's always been true or if "Stranger Than Fiction" just made me think about it a little more and realize my preference.

So I guess I'd say in general that I've always basically enjoyed reading about people that were similar to me, that I could relate to, with the occasional outlandish twist thrown in. I love the Jasper Fforde books, and am actually re-reading them now. And I liked some of Sarah Bird's novels for her ability to throw in something unusual to a normal life, like a flamenco school or a burgeoning career as a romance novelist. Just like I enjoyed Janet Evanovich's books about a girl with a quirky family, complicated love life, and oh yeah, that whole bounty hunter thing as a career.