I don’t read nearly as much as I did back then, but when I do, I remember why I love it. I could go into all of the different genres of books that I like, but the truth is, if it’s well-written and interesting to me, I’ll read it. A couple of blogs I subscribe to have posted discussions about adults reading Young Adult fiction. My theory is I don’t care what you’re reading, as long as you’re reading. And the truth is, I’m a fan of YA fiction, mostly because it can be a quick read that’s usually fairly entertaining and just as well written as adult fiction. A lot of people see “Young Adult” and think Twilight, but that’s like seeing “memoirs” and thinking that Snookie’s book is indicative of the entire genre.
And no, I’ve never read Moby Dick or Grapes of Wrath, and I don’t plan to. I also don’t think that makes me less literate or less well rounded. I’ve read my fair share of classics and enjoyed them, but there are some that just don’t appeal to me, and since I’ve been out of school, I’m all about reading what I want to, not what I have to.
I’m also a sucker for book covers. It was the one downside to getting an e-reader that wasn’t in color. I don’t pick books based only on the cover, but I really think that the wrong cover can completely turn me off of a book, and a really great cover can make me want to read a book I probably would have originally passed on. An excellent example of this is The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. From the synopsis, I would have dismissed it as a western that I was kind of meh about, but because of the cover, I’m eagerly awaiting its release:
With only a few exceptions, I really don’t like it when they put actual pictures of people on the covers of books (The exception to this is books whose primary focus may not be characterization – Harlequin Romance Novels I’m looking at you). This is the same struggle I have with movies based on books. I’m not opposed to movies based on books, but when a movie comes out based on a book I really love I get nervous. The most recent example of this is The Hunger Games I LOVED these books. They were well written, entertaining and actually pretty moving. Side note – If you haven’t read them, go get them now. I’ll wait.
You’re back? Awesome, right? We’ll talk later. Anyway, back to my point. They are now making a movie out of The Hunger Games and the interwebs are all aflutter over who will play the main characters. Here’s my issue. I have a definite picture of who these people are and have recreated Suzanne Collins’ whole world in my head. I think that’s the best part of reading – making your own personal rendering of these people and places. Once you start making movies out of these books, those worlds become influenced by what’s on screen, and even if it’s amazingly well done (Harry Potter), it is no longer yours alone. I mean, this isn’t going to stop me from going to see the movie, it just makes me a tiny bit sad.
Finally, if you like to read and you haven’t already, you should go sign up at http://www.goodreads.com. It’s essentially a book social networking site where you can see what your friends are reading, recommend and write reviews for books. Find me! There may even be a harlequin romance novel or two on my list!