What Do You Like To Read?
Bibliophile — A person who collects or has a great love of books
Those of us that have been wooed by the way of the word can be introverted, loving the worlds in our minds. We don’t need others around to be happy because we have our imaginary friend and their adventures. But when we meet other book lovers we light up, and inevitably ask the question “What do you like to read.” Because I have been an avid reader all of my life, the answer to this question has grown and changed a lot, and I expect it will keep doing so.
A Boy and His Dog
After finally exhausted my interest in the “Sweet Valley High” books in 3rd or 4th grade, this is the first “category” of books that I really latched onto. They were a slightly more sophisticated read and I blew through the ones I found in a matter of a few weeks. Mostly because I could only find 3 books in this self created genre; Summer of the Monkeys, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Old Yeller. All of these books are set in a previous time in history, which I think sparked my interest in historical fiction.
Bless my mother and her support of reading. When I raided our book stash at home and came up with Clan of the Cave Bear, she didn’t flinch. When I wanted to continue with the series, which becomes more and more sexual as it goes, she gave me a warning about adult content and told me to come to her if I had any questions. I finished the series over the summer, reading Valley of the Horses and The Mammoth Hunters, which is where the series ended at the time. These books gave me my first real answer to “What do you like to read?” “Historical fiction. I like to read historical fiction”.
I came across Dean Koontz’s book Watchers in a used book store. Looking back, I think Dean Koontz appealed to me not only because his books were a supernatural adventure, but also because they frequently have a dog as a main character, tapping into my love of “A Boy and His Dog” stories. Like any addiction, Dean Koontz lead to the harder stuff. Stephen King. In high school got lost in the world he painted in IT, and scared myself silly reading The Stand while I was sick with mono. So now my answer to the question “What do you like to read?” included horror.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Another high school used bookstore find was Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. His books are not easy to pin down to a category, but I read them all, even going to the extent of buying a second copy of JLS to carry with me so I would always have something to read. So now a specific book became part of my answer.
I was always sort of a snob about romance before college. I DID NOT read romance. And then I found Outlander. Actually I found Drums of Autumn first, but then I went back and read the books I had missed. You can now find this series in general fiction, but at the time I started reading them, they frequently got placed in romance. And once you read all the books in the series, and want more time travel and sexy men in kilts, well, the romance section has all your needs. I also discovered that romance was the perfect light reading antidote when the load in college became heavy.
Mystery and Science Fiction
By the time I was Mid way through college it was easier to say what I didn’t read; Science fiction, mystery and nonfiction, that was about it. Then someone suggested I read Janet Evanovich, and that blew the door off mystery. I now have several mystery authors I like; particularly Craig Johnson. I stumbled across Laurel K. Hamilton and my love of sci-fi/fantasy grew exponentially. It is now my favorite genre. The first section I go looking for something to read (after I check out the displays of new books of course).
Eventually I was seduced by non-fiction, though I can’t pinpoint a specific book. This is a huge category and the one most recently added to my repertoire. The main draw for me in nonfiction is memoirs and self-help (personal growth). A few that really struck a cord and stuck with me after I closed the cover include, Unbroken, Wild, Into Thin Air, and Mindset. I now usually have one of each, a fiction and a nonfiction that I am reading at any given time.
What Do You Like To Read
Now, when people ask me, “What do you like to read?” The flip answer they get is “Words. I like to read words.” And while my favorite is still science fiction/fantasy, I’ll read anything. If you say, “I think you’d like…”insert author or book, I’ll write it down, and the next time I’m looking for something to read I’ll take a look at your suggestion. So, what are some books that have shaped your taste for reading? What do you like to read?
Originally published at booksandsundry.weebly.com.