04 March 2011
Post 342: Reading Jackie
One of the things I wish had been explored more was the idea that Jackie chose to edit certain works that she wanted to learn more about. This information was taken from a Publishers Weekly article published 19 April 1993. This is certainly how I approach much of my own reading. I may never get the chance to go to India, but I can learn about the culture and the politics by reading works from Indian authors or non-fiction works about the area. I may not need to ever poison someone, but isn't it interesting how many different ways you can do it and how accessible poison really is? I'm probably never going to fly a plane, but I can easily imagine what it might feel like when it is described well enough.
This is possibly the best reason to read, and we make these decisions all the time. Even for pleasure reading there has to be some motivation behind choosing a particular title. We may originally be drawn by the title or the cover, but those things still give us some information about the content of the book (at the very least they tell us what the marketers think the target audience is). Sometimes I need that exotic setting, sometimes I need to know how or why something happened, sometimes I just need to know why everyone else is reading it.
That last one gets me into a lot of trouble. I consistently read things out of my preferred genres. But I like new things, and occasionally I come across books I love that I never would have read otherwise. I like my adventurous reading habits, and I like other adventurous readers. Not only is it fun to see what influences branch across genres, it's easier to see what storytelling elements and techniques actually work for me, which I've found is actually a better indicator of how much I will enjoy a story than whether or not it's literary fiction or memoir, etc.
How often do you think about why you're drawn to a certain book? What do you think you would learn about yourself and your reading habits if you started paying attention to that?
I found a couple of great reviews; the first one by Jaylia at Goodreads, another by a blogger at Beth Fish Reads, and then my favorite professional source Kirkus Reviews.
LibsNote: Library copy from Overdrive Media.