Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sister Readathon: I'm Late, I'm Late, For a Very Important Date...

I'm falling behind on my readathon challenges, so I'm going to cover two in this post.  The first question was:  Why do we read painful things, or emotional things, or frightening things? What do we get from reading a story that makes us cry? And on the flip side, what do we get from reading "they all lived happily ever after" stories? Tell what genres you are most drawn to and why.

I think I - and probably most people - are drawn to emotional stories because sometimes we need to see (or read about) other people struggling to make us feel better about our own struggles.  For example, Teri is currently reading "Talk Before Sleep" , a book about two friends as they journey through one's bout with cancer.  I recommended the book to her after I connected with it strongly because my best friend died from cancer in 2004.  Reading about characters going through the same struggle was difficult at times, and I used up a box or two of Kleenex, but it also felt "good" in a way because I saw that the things I felt and did and said were "normal".  

Sometimes we read difficult books to learn.  In the past few years I have read stories about autism and about the polio epidemic - both subjects that I knew little about.  But because I was involved with the characters, I saw these issues through their eyes and I learned far more than I would have from reading a text book or encyclopedia entry.  There are some subjects I would never read about intentionally, but when they are in fiction form it's amazing how my attitude toward the subject changes.  I am currently listening to the audio book of  "The Guernsey LIterary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - and loving it.  Had it been presented as "a book about the German occupation of Guernsey island during World War II", I wouldn't have gotten past the cover.  But the sneaky author had me hooked on the characters' relationship before I realized I was going to get a history lesson.  And it's fascinating!

Sometimes I just need a "feel good" story - a 30-minute-sit-com-book, if you will.  The kind where no matter what happens, you know it will work out fine by the time the shows over, and they will all live happily ever after, at least until next week. The majority of the time, I avoid those books because they seem shallow and fluffy, but put a pretty Christmas cover on it, and I'm hooked.

I read a wide variety of genres - mystery, suspense, an occasional chick-lit, "literary", even a western or sci-fi.  Like our bodies need all the food groups to get a balance of nutrients, our reading life needs to sample from a variety of genres and subjects to be balanced and healthy.

The next challenge said: You have until 3 p.m. to find and post your favorite quote about reading.  Well, it's 3:21, so I'm probably in the dog house, but I don't even have to think very hard to come up with my favorite quotes about reading:

"You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world."  - Tim Gunn

"There are worse things than burning books.  One of them is not reading them." - attributed to Ray Bradbury and several others, depending on where you read it.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King

And my #1 book quote:  "I can not live without books."  - Thomas Jefferson.  That pretty much says it all.

1 comment:

  1. It is easy to see which of the sisters here are more achieved in their reading! I admire that you delve into all the genres. You challenge me to want to branch out and I am very hopeful that 2014 will be a year of growth for me when it comes to reading! I'm off to a good start! Love your quotes also!