What’s Your Reading Style? (and a request for recommendations)
photo credit: old picture of me, that I plan on recreating soon!
Have you ever tried to describe your reading style? This morning, I found myself inspired by clothing style definitions to try to apply the same idea to my reading. As someone who loves playing with words and ideas, I found this quite fun! And here’s what I came up with: I’m a nostalgic, principled, adventurous reader. Nostalgic because I love a lot of older stories (e.g.: classics, fairy tales) and contemporary books that have a similar tone or follow a traditional structure (e.g.: Agatha Christie-style mysteries), principled because my reading often reflects my ethical commitments (e.g.: social justice, the environment), and adventurous because I love to explore new cultures, countries, mind-sets, etc. via books and I’m not afraid of experimental fiction (e.g.: Helen Oyeyemi). I feel like these three words capture the primary, if at times contradictory, veins in my reading. In fact, I’m thinking about incorporating the phrase into my blog tagline. :) So, what two or three words capture your bookish style? Feel free to share in a comment or via a post of your own!
Why was I especially interested in defining my reading this morning? Well, today I’m asking all of you readers for a favour. I’ve been in an on-again, off-again reading slump since late April, and while it seems to have (finally) lifted, I’m still hedging my bets. I want lots of wonderful, dependable books in my ‘what to read next’ library stack so as to minimise another run of abandoned books. That’s where you come in. Who are your very favourite books and authors, the ones that you find yourself recommending over and over, the big-gun titles you pull out when faced with a not-so-ravenous reader?
And for those of you who need something a bit more detailed than ‘nostalgic, principled adventurer,’ here you go:
I love reading diversely, in the geographic, chronological, ethnic, and gender/sexual orientation senses. I enjoy nonfiction and fiction just about equally, although I tend to read a bit more of the latter. I’m especially interested in older books, international authors, mysteries, imaginative fiction (fantasy, magical realism, etc.), gothic stuff, and general fiction works by US/UK authors of colour, but I read contemporary non-genre white US/UK authors as well. I can fall in love with fiction because of an intricate plot, loveable characters, an intriguing setting, thought-provoking themes, or stunning prose. As far as nonfiction goes, I gravitate towards popular science and linguistics, women’s studies, comparative religion, travelogues, social justice issues, and both popular and technical stuff related to international politics, economics, and history. I also have a special place in my heart for ghost-related books, both fiction and nonfiction!