New Poll for Readers

Not long ago, I asked my readers how many books they read at a time. A whopping eighty-one percent said more than two. Let me tell ya, that makes this ol’ gal happy. With so many other distractions, books seem to be among the discarded items of days past. So many people prefer video game adventures to  those presented between the covers of a book–or on a four by five inch screen.

As I wrote previously, I have three books open, each one a different genre. These are just the fiction books. I also like to have a devotional and a writing tutorial in the works. Actually, it’s time for me to go shopping for these. I don’t have either one going right now.

For writers and readers both, reading various genres published in different eras broadens our appreciation of the written word and often makes us more discriminating of what we call “good” when discussing books. Even the reasons we call certain books “good” changes. We begin to recognize the elements that make for fine writing or wonderful story-telling, and lose patience with the story when these elements are not present.

On another site, I compared the tension between James Patterson’s Cat and Mouse and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The authors’ styles are as entirely different as their books’ subjects and genres; the only thing similar between the two was both books sought to keep the reader on the edge of her seat through the use of tension. Aside from the vivid content of the scene, Patterson uses exclamation points and chapter closings as tension enhancers. McCarthy shuns all such artificial means. His punctuation is limited, with few exceptions, to periods and commas, and he has no chapter divisions. He relies instead on strong wording alone to paint pictures in the reader’s imagination. As an author, I can’t say that Patterson’s style impresses me, though I’m fascinated by what McCarthy can achieve. But as a reader, I loved both books and would’ve given them both high scores. I loved the twists, the mystery, and the satisfying ending–and the hook for his next novel–in Patterson’s book, and the thought-provoking, emotion-evoking, haunting characteristics of McCarthy’s.

As a writer, I read different genres to learn. As a reader, I find myself craving different genres. For years, I read nothing but romance–until I was introduced to crime novels. I enjoyed those for years until I realized how dark the novels were in their depiction of humankind, then I switched to light-hearted chic-lit. Now I read everything.

Do you? Let me know. And, while you’re at it, leave a comment to tell me what your favorite genre is.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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7 Responses to New Poll for Readers

  1. I read a wide variety of genres. At age 12 I started reading science and archealogy, along with the usual fiction: Black Beauty, Sea Biscut, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holms, The Wind in the Willows, Agatha Christy and any kind of historical fiction. Now I’ve added, some Stephen King (can’t read too much though), James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler, Taylor Caldwell, James Clavell, Francine Rivers, Phillipa Gregory and many, many others. I’ve even been known to read the encyclopeida when I couldn’t get my hands on a book. Oh and, I can’t forget Pat McManus, and Larry McCurty and some non-fiction: devotionals, theology, historical, travel…. Got to stop…Obviously I love to read – a lot!

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  2. Lisa Grace says:

    Right now I’m reading “Delicate Edible Birds” by Lauren Groff, “The Oath” by Frank Peretti, James Bell’s book on self-editing, and I just finished Janalyn Voigt’s “Dawnsinger”, Rabbi Jeff Zaremsky’s “Jewish Heritage Scripture Studies”, and several nonfiction booklets regarding the supernatural by a variety of different mininstries.

    I like to read several genres, fiction and nonfiction alike.

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      You have an eclectic assortment there. “Delicate Edible Birds”–what a title. I’ll have to look for that.

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  3. K.M. Weiland says:

    I try to keep my reading horizons wide open. Inevitably, I wander toward specific genres (historical, speculative, and literary) more than others and shy away from a few that just never seem to do it for me (mysteries, in particular), but I’m open to reading just about any book, regardless of genre. All I care is that it’s quality literature.

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Speculative, Sci-Fi, Fantasy–those are genres I don’t run to often, Sci-Fi least of all. I’m picky about romance, I love mysteries, I get in the mood for historicals periodically, but literary is rapidly becoming my fave. Who’da thunk it?

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  4. Andrew says:

    I read a lot of fantasy and horror. I also read a lot of non-fiction, especially Biology (that’s my major) and history. I typically only do one book at a time. Trying to read just one while balancing everything I have to do is hard enough! But maybe I’ll try a rotating schedule of books. Never know right? It might work, haha

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