I love books and the written word.
Whether it be on my e-reader or with paper resting between my fingers I love reading.
There is nothing like losing oneself in words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and the ideas and stories they describe.
Not everything mind you. I have definite biases towards certain genres of writing.
Non-fiction is the majority of what I consume. Don’t ask me why because in all honesty I don’t know. Biographies, histories, social commentaries, travel chronicles … they all appeal to me. I have often tried to find what the commonality between these are. What is it about them that is similar and therefore attractive? I have a vague idea but, at this stage, cannot put it into my own words. I need to be a better translator of my own thoughts for that.
One thing that I stay clear of is political non-fiction. It has no appeal to me as a leisure reading topic. Let’s face it … there is enough of that in the news every day so if I want to get my fill I will go to one of any number of media outlets (some being more reputable than others).
My fiction likes are a harder to pin down by topic. It’s probably easier for me to say what I’m not fond of … science fiction and fantasy being the main area. I’ve often wondered if this is because it’s the direct antithesis of non-fiction. It is not just a made up story in the ‘real world’ but a totally made up world as well. As a reader I find this too much to process when reading for fun.
I used to read a great deal of crime, mystery and thrillers but as I have gotten older I have found that I am turned off by the darker elements of these namely the violence and death that are more often that directed at women. It’s unsettling and, to me at least, too disturbing to want to consume in my leisure hours.
Outside of these boundaries I tend to take each fiction book at it comes. I have a look at the first few pages and give it a go (or not) based on my initial reaction to that and any plot summary I can find. It doesn’t mean there is not something hiding in later pages but hey … you can’t win them all.
One thing I have found is that I look increasingly to female orientated works either as the creator or subject of the book. As a female I just find that this perspective is more interesting and relatable. Fear not lads …. it’s not a total women only space. I very much appreciate your literary endeavours too! In fact the best book I have read in many years is a work of fiction (based on genuine historical happenings) authored by a man with a male main character – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
So yes … I am a reading contradiction!
And like many I do go through periods where I feel like I will never find another book that grabs me and demands my attention to the point that I feel sad at the prospective loss of the joy of words. You just have to take a deep breath, don’t despair, stop being hard on yourself and you’ll find that the next shelf you look on will have that work that reignites your passion.
And remember …. books will always be your friend, teacher and confidant. Keep supporting and embracing them and those who bravely create them!
(Header Image: Negative Space)