While I am not doing any reading challenges I am going to take on one writing challenge!
I am going in at Discussion Dabbler because I am that for sure. 1 – 10.
Setting my boundaries for reading in 2020
So 2020 is going to be all about totally reading for enjoyment and and seeing into others lives with differing life experiences. The books I like best. So 2020 a time to chill out with books.
What are one or two of your hopes/plans for reading in 2020?
Until recently I would have doggedly declared that I was not influenced in the least by book covers. I might pick them by titles – sure and certainly by authors I really like. But book covers! Gah! But… this year I was introduced to a blind side part of me.
You see I had downloaded this book from Edelweiss but I kept avoiding it. Feeling guilty of course but well still avoiding! I knew it had something to do with Germany and Auschwitz plus those colours, plus the title, sort of spoke of sadness. Now as I enlarge the cover though I see the man and boy and dog and well if I had noticed that, maybe I’d have felt differently. Plus I’ve read some now and see how it fits in.
Then I read a review for this book over at Book’d Out and the book had an alternative cover and suddenly I felt quite differently about the book.
Sure it still has the colour red but it has such a cosy feel to it. Books on the cover and a teapot and a yellow canary (yes and there is one in the book). This one doesn’t look threatening at all. I want to read this book!
And then here is another cover for the book that also says – I am so light and sweet and happy. Look at those books flying about, looks very inviting. I am totally ignoring the bit in the title that says broken hearted.
Now that I am into the book I really think that it has aspects of each of the covers, (I haven’t finished it yet). But now I am leaning towards the first, somehow it evokes in me some of the emotional aspects of the book.
You? Are you swayed by book covers?
Which of these book covers would entice you to pick up this book?
Linking up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.
More and more I hate it when readers refer to popular fiction books as
And even beach read or comfort read while not as bad, (and I’ve used those terms myself) have a certain ring to them. Literary fiction or classic literature is seen as ” what the discerning reader” picks up to read. Really! That annoys me. Mostly because it’s said with a certain tone or attitude as well. Said without attitude, then maybe I could accept it.
If they were to say “I prefer to read classic or literary books” or “I like a mix of classic and popular fiction” – no judgement in tone – fine!
One reader’s trash might be another person’s treasure! And I’ll just whisper this! Sh! I am more likely to put literary books in the DNF basket! Well I find them boring or so uninspiring … it takes the pleasure of reading away from me. But if its for you – go ahead, enjoy it. Just don’t go all snobby on me.
Ah yes! I have read trash – believe me! From 8 or 9 year old boys, who bored me silly with stories that go on page after page of guns and fighting. What is that! Or one boy who insisted on calling every character in his story Bob and wouldn’t shift! Well his family shifted away – thank goodness! That was in my early days of teaching, I soon learned to steer students away from writing more trash than I could bear!
Popular fiction sells! So there must be others out there like me who want to get lost in a book that they enjoy. I read for entertainment – sure. But in the books I read I am not only entertained. I am made to think, and to experience so many diverse points of view, I love the values that are embodied. Often my heart is opened in compassion.
The struggles of characters and the challenges they face engage me. The hope popular fiction brings, the way goodness is valued. I love the imagination and creativity that an author brings to writing popular fiction. These authors are writing excellent novels in their own right. Such talent. Their voice rings out. Maybe one author’s voice appeals to me, another to you. Whatever! I respect them whether its to my taste or not. You love a cozy mystery, someone else appreciates a thriller and I love a good romantic suspense.
I’ve always had a penchant for a satisfying romance novel. Maybe a discussion another day on that genre, it warrants a discussion all by itself.
Maybe I’m a bit too sensitive. Perhaps I fear being “looked down on”. No – I know I do! However that acknowledged I believe popular fiction is not given the respect its due. Smart, intelligent people write these books and as a reader I’m not lacking in intelligence either. One author whose work I love and respect was told by a good friend that her books were good and she’d probably be able to write a real novel if she tried!! A backhanded compliment but this author already writes real novels.
Your viewpoint? Your experience?
Until recently I have been reluctant to DNF a book, I’d struggle through or speed read (that is skip huge chunks) and call it read. But just this month a couple of things changed my mind about this. I am going to take on a new attitude towards books.
Firstly I read a post by Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs Darcy encouraging readers to not finish books that they just weren’t into. She argues that five or so hours reading a book is time investment from a reader and so the books should be worth that investment. I’d always thought of the hours spent by the author writing it!
However I can now see that some books just aren’t for me. It’s not that the book is bad, but rather just not to my taste and I made a mistake in choosing to read it. This happened to be with Turning the Pages by Penelope Janu. I liked the idea of it involving the book world and the main character was an author. But… what I found and can own was the writing was very upbeat chick lit and the main character seemed to ditsy around. I closed that book I am not sure how many pages in and returned it to the library. There is a queue waiting for it on reserve and readers that will just delight in it, but not me. I felt relieved and moved on.
When I have a book that I am counting the pages or looking to see what % I have read, it may be a sign that I am finding it not to my taste. Anne Bogel says to learn from the books you DNF. So I’ve learned and I sort of knew that I don’t enjoy upbeat chick lit romance and to leave it alone to those who do!
It hurts when I’ve bought the book (big OUCH) although Amazon and Audible are pretty good about returns although sometimes I don’t read them for so long after buying I wouldn’t do it. But I have until now struggled on with the REVIEW book! However from this day forward I have decided that they too will hit the DNF slot and I will just let the publisher know that. That’s fair feedback I do believe.
I will count the DNF books for 2019 and feel successful if the list is longer than other years because that means I have moved on to books more to my taste and most likely avoided a reading slump. I will be happy to be guilty as charged and be a happy DNFer.