Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Sometimes I read book upon book that I love, and sometimes I can't find anything I like! Recently I've been struggling to finish a couple of well-received, high-concept YA books that I'd heard about, with fascinating plotting techniques. One of them I decided not to read, and I just dragged myself through the other one, skimming over the last third to get to the end.

And I realized what different tastes we all have in books that we like and love. And isn't that grand?

For me, I love books about animals, adventure, places and times I've never been. I like to get swept up in grand dramas, follow the hero or heroine through jungles or deserts or up onto mountaintops, feel their pain through growing up, or losing a loved one, or any number of different scenarios that take me somewhere I've never been. I love to lose myself in a book.

What I don't really like (I've recently discovered) is revisiting the cliquey days of high school, complete with sex, drugs, alcohol, and perhaps even suicide. Huh-uh. Doesn't get it for me.

In high school, I was the ultra-smart, late-blooming, shy girl, who never ran with the popular crowd because I rode the bus almost one whole hour to the very last stop on the route. Ah, but there I had everything I wanted. Horses. Cats. Dogs. Chickens. Hiking to friend's houses. Country life, which I truly believe kept me grounded in reality and away from a lot of the petty drama of the "town" kids, with not much to do. High school dramas did not interest me much then, and apparently they still don't.

Ah, but for those of us that are writers, isn't it wonderful that tastes are all so different? Books and movies, and tastes in literature, are so subjective, that we need to take comfort in the fact that some people will like our writing, and some people won't. And vive la difference!

What kind of books do you like to read? Anything you don't care for? What are your favorites?


Beth said...

I found myself, surprisingly, into the Twilight series. I never thought I would like it. I loved Harry Potter.

I have some PI books I really get into.

Romance leaves me a bit cold. "Throbbing members" just aren't my thing I guess.

Monica said...

Truth is, I'm a really omnivorous reader, so it's hard for me to pinpoint types of stories I don't like. Genre seems to matter less.

I do however, hate stories, with whiney or bratty characters, TSTL characters, or even characters who act w/o motivation.

So...yeah. Could I get more unspecific?

Linda Benson said...

Yes, I read all across the board also, from picture books to middle grade to YA, to adult and non-fiction, and even the occasional spy drama. For me, I like good writing, and characters I adore and care about.

Beth, I'm not too much into the heaving bosoms of romance, either because they are so predictable.

And I had to look up some of your acronyms. PI Private Investigator?
And Monica TSTL? Too Stupid Too Live? Yeah, pretty hard to be invested in a character like that.

I love lyrical, poetic writing, too, as long as the story is there, also.

Holly Bodger said...

Oh, I totally feel this, Lin! I tried to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo twice and I could not get past page 20. Same thing with a long list of books on the Oprah list. I just have no interest in anything involving abuse, depression, suicide etc... Maybe that's why I love kid's books so much.

And I agree with both you and Monica about the annoying characters. I'd much rather read a story about the girl who didn't fit in than the girl who did. Unless you happen to be that one girl who had everything/was everything (which I wasn't!), it's too hard to relate to. Plus it makes me want to slap her in the face which is sorta how I felt in high school too!

Susan said...

I love to lose myself in the books I read also. If I don't get sucked in, I may finish the book, but my full attention isn't on it.

as for types of books, I like things happening that are believable. Obviously the story has to be unique, but if I know it's unrealistic I also lose interest.

I just read your last post about distractions. That could almost be my list. In fact it's uncannily close. I can't write in the morning though. That's the time of day I have to be outside. I try for the heat of the day this time of year.

Linda Benson said...

Holly - yes, I like books with at least hopeful endings, because I'm an optimist at heart (grew up on Walt Disney.) Maybe that's why I enjoy reading and writing kid lit.

Susan - I like realistic stories, too. Not too much on fantasy, although lots of people love it.
Everybody's different, and there's lots of room for all kind of writers (and readers.)

As far as writing, mornings work best for me just because my brain is fresh (and it tends to fry in the heat of the day LOL)

Thanks for stopping by to comment!