The world of books is never boring. Every week I’ll discuss a different topic related to books, often inspired by or in response to what’s going on in the online book community (or something I’ve seen another blogger talk about). I call this Book Thoughts on Thursday. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, or even write your own post on the topic and share the link with me!
**Disclaimer: This has been one hell of a week. Consequently I’m writing this with a half-functional brain and a half-drunk beer in hand. I apologize in advance if it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and promise to be smrt-er next week.
I’ve always been fascinated by people’s favourite books. Whether it’s a classic like Jane Austen’s Emma, a counter-cultural manifesto like A Clockwork Orange, or a flight of fancy like The Hobbit, what a person likes to read when left to their own devices tells you so much about who they are.
I approach reading much like how I wish I could approach eating (and still be healthy). Mainly various types of dessert (all kinds of fiction, literary, YA, contemporary), potato chips (thrillers and suspense) and beer (irreverent humour and inapropriate hijinks – whether travel memoirs, fiction or biographies) with the odd handful of trail mix (cultural critique) and side of veggies (serious non-fiction about current events – but only ones I’m interested in) thrown in for good measure. Give me too much of any one thing and I either get a stomachache or feel unsatisfied.
I think this tells you a lot about me. I enjoy learning about the world, but I’m mostly interested in getting to know the insides of other people’s minds and experiencing their varying perspectives. And I love the odd surprise. Like discovering that I love those puffed lentil things they give you at Indian restaurants or picking up Station Eleven on a whim only to find it one of my top reads of the year. I’ll try most anything once.
But all readers are different. There are those who enjoy the classics, those who are concerned with history, others who really don’t have any use for grown up things and want to devour every YA book out there. There are those who don’t care so much about a genre or topic, but tend to read whatever is most talked about in the literary world at the moment, or whatever is most likely to be prominently displayed at the local bookstore.There are those who will literally read anything put in front of them – the literary omnivores, if you will – including cereal boxes.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these reading patterns, in my opinion. Varied reading proclivities makes for varied interests and interesting people, after all. But I do find it fascinating, when getting to know a new person, to find out if they read and what they read. (If they don’t read anything at all, I’ll not only have very little to say to them, but probably assume they’re deeply disturbed and back up slowly before running in the opposite direction. As John Waters said…)
So over to you guys – what do you read? What are your favourite books? And what do your reading habits say about you?
Related (and fascinating) reading:
50 Cultural Icons On Their Favourite Books by Emily Temple for Flavorwire