Monday, April 18, 2016

A Matter of Taste

Reading is very subjective. While in college I was assigned to read Catcher in the Rye. During the class discussion, everyone, including the professor, kept commenting on the baseball metaphors in the story. I sat there wondering if we'd read the same book because I didn't pick up on a single baseball metaphor. Although, I guess I could say in my defense that I know next to nothing about baseball so that may explain why I didn't pick up on those references. But, I digress...

One reader may love an author's work while another reader may say, "eh, it was okay" when referring to that same author's books. I guess you could say One person's treasure is another person's meh.

I know the saying is really, "One person's trash is another person's treasure" but I would never call an author's work trash. Being author myself, I know what it's like to agonize over every word, sentence, and paragraph as we build a snippet of dialogue, a swift vision of a scene, the smell of a setting, or the voice of a yet unknown character into a fully fleshed out living and breathing story.

I always find people's differing tastes in books interesting. My one sister loves James Patterson's books. Me, not so much. My oldest sister loves Stephen King and other authors in the horror genre. Me, definitely not. I have too vivid an imagination and reading horror novels gives me nightmares. I don't watch scary movies either. I love Diane Kelly's Death, Taxes series. A friend tried reading the first book and didn't finish it. She didn't like the main character.

I often ask family and friends about the latest books they're reading or have just finished. I have two reasons - one, you never know when you're going to find that great new-to-you author whose books you can't wait to read. The second reason is I'm curious if they liked the book or not and why. I don't know if it's the writer in me trying to figure out what appeals to readers or if I love books so much that I like talking about them with others.

Do you ask family and friends about the books they read?

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