Thursday, August 20, 2009

What kind of reader are you?

Sandi showed a bit of her lovely library in her latest post. She asked about what folks are reading and I started to respond but it turned into a "thing" so here we are. Here's the kind of reader I am, feel free to tell me what kind you are!

I am more than willing to let an author lead me away into another world – that’s why we read, right? If you believe, then I will too.

I do re-read – some of my books are beloved friends.

- I read every Stephen King that comes out - I can't stop now, I’ve been following him for 30 years and he’s part of my inner workings. The family knows that when a new volume comes out, they can expect to be ignored for a day or two until I finish. The pic is of part of my King section - he's so prolific I resent the amount of space he demands! Here you see most of his section and the start of the poetry section. Before I had kids I had a Sex Section, with selections from erotic poetry to Masters & Johnson to old medical texts (shudder); that section and the Drugs and Rock & Roll section are both in the attic for the next few years.

- I adore Salman Rushdie; his prose is so poetic he's always on the tipping edge of form, and he has seared more lovely and horrifying images in my brain than any other author I've read. I had my original paperback copy of "Midnight's Children" (purchased in 1984!) signed last year and it was a thrill to be able to tell him I wanted my "sentimental" copy signed.

- I am currently reading "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen; will likely finish today and recommend it highly. I think it’s going to make me cry again before it’s done.

- “The Road” was probably my toughest recent read – it’s brutal and I walked around with my mind bruised for days, but it’s worth it. I do like post-apocalyptic pieces and he’s covered the turf very nicely indeed.

- Anything by Ann Patchett is a winner. Really. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest copy of “Bel Canto” and prepare to be swept away.

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez moves me; I re-read “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “One Hundred years of Solitude” regularly.

- I won't read Jodi Picoult any more - I don't like having my emotions yanked around that hard, it feels like a deliberate manipulation and I balk at that.

- Every autumn I feel a need to read Jane Urquhart’s “Away.” Why? I don’t know, it just needs to be done and I'm better off when it’s finished.

- As a child I looked forward to a new Roald Dahl hardcover for birthdays and Christmases, and I still re-read his works with genuine pleasure. I enjoyed the “Harry Potter” series immensely, and feel that J.K. Rowling is the closest thing we’ve got to Dahl these days.

- Catherine is the real villain in “Wuthering Heights,” Tess is a trollop, and "The Satanic Verses" didn't say what folks thought it did; you’ll never convince me otherwise.

- I'm also one of very few people who feels that "The Year of Magical Thinking" was a form of horrifying wallowing and only inspirational if one is considering an extended vacation somewhere they serve you via IV drip.

- I am capable of reading difficult material but don’t often do so voluntarily; I’ve made it through Goethe and Aeneid on my own but prefer someone who can immerse me in their world a little more quickly.

- I love book discussions. Our local library hasn’t had them in a while; I am hoping we’ll find a new leader to get the gears working hard again (though I would not run to re-read “The Magic Mountain”).

- I am more than willing to read my kids’ books; I loved Scott Westerfelds “Uglies” series, avidly read “Twilight” but later thought it fluffy, and absolutely loved Rick Riordan’s “Percy and the Olympians” series.

- I appreciate audiobooks and feel that some work better orally than in print - the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Frankenstein" both read aloud particularly well, as does Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy.

What kind of reader are you?


  1. I'm so glad you turned a comment into this post! I have "Love in the Time of Cholera" and I just haven't been able to make myself read it. Maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need. If I can just start, I know it will keep me going on it's own merit. I agree, too, about Jodi Picoult. I read one book - "My Sister's Keeper" - and enjoyed it up until the last 15 pages. Then she turned on her reader and betrayed everything she had built in the first 300 pages, just to wring a few extra tears from me. I won't read her again.

  2. I love this post of yours, books are close to my heart also. Isnt it funny how tastes change. I was addicted to the 'Scarpetta' novels by Patricia Cornwell - on a side note I own them too- until the series became weird with main charecters dying and then popping back up. So I gave up on them and havent read any of the new ones. Completely agree with you and fellow commentor re Jodi Picolt. I read "A Plain Truth" and the last few pages hit me hard. I tried to read Stephen King once but it gave me the willies, so I am a scaredy cat and still havent picked another one up!
    I have just finished reading "The Alchemist" and it hit a note with me re my current situations.
    I love that books become like old friends, a place of comfort and understanding.

  3. Wally Lamb - I know this much is true, The hour I first Believed - both excellent reads, sad, tragic, but so well written

    The Kite Runner
    A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Housseini (sp) both graphic and sometimes disturbing, but wonderful wonderful reads.

    The Birth House - Ami McKay (Canadian author)

    The Other Boleyn Girl - i'm not really a big historical fiction person ,but enjoyed this one alot!

    The Book of Negroes (also published under the title Someone Knows My Name) - Lawrence Hill (Canadian author) oh my gosh this was an amazing book to read!

    Also read Water for Elephants and just loved it....

    There you have some of my picks!