This week’s Booking Through Thursday is all about the story.
If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?
Or, um, is it just me?
I majored in elementary education (grades 1-8) with an emphasis in English. I remember preparing for finals, writing papers about literary meaning, and debating with others about the intent of authors. As useful as this was when it came to preparing me to teach, I remember how I often just wanted to ignore all that and just enjoy the book!
I know that many authors write with a purposed message in mind (I immediately think of Sinclair’s The Jungle), and I realize these books have an important place in the literary world. When I read for pleasure, however, these are not the books that call to me. As I curl up on my couch at the end of a busy day, I don’t want metaphors and meaning, I want to lose myself in the story. Although I am happy to learn something when I read, I am most pleased when I simply enjoy a book so much that I am sad to leave the characters and find myself wishing the story would go on and on and on…
Why do you read? Are you the literary type, or do you want to keep reading just one more chapter so you can find out what happens next? Do you feel you have enjoyed different types of books at different stages of life? (I am sure my sleep-deprived brain is one reason I can’t handle the heavy stuff as much as I used to.) Leave a comment and let us know.
Lauren is a wife, a mother of two, and an avid reader. Lauren blogs at Baseballs and Bows.
I agree… It’s so much more rewarding to be free to choose my own books! I’m thankful for the training that helps me to read more observantly, but that’s an enhancement to reading pleasure — not a replacement for it.
This is a great theme for BTT. I’m like you, my education revolved around analyzing books, but now I read just to enjoy a good story. Of course, most good stories are well written. 😉
I read for both reasons. Sometimes I want literary, something to really make me think. At other times I just want to curly up with a good chick lit or mystery at the end of the day. I still have to think, of course, but it’s entertaining too.
I have a degree in English Literature so I know all about reading in order to analyze an author’s intent and meaning or to examine a specific time period, but I definitely read more for the story! It’s what keeps me up at night, not allowing me to sleep even when I know I have to go to work the next day. I have to find out what’s going to happen! And finding out is why I love to read. 🙂
Katrina (Callapidder Days) says
Oh, I’m a story girl all the way. While I like characters that are not flat, annoying, or unbelievable, if a book is all about the internal life of a character and has nothing actually happening, I just can’t read it. Give me a fast-paced page-turner any day!
I read for the story… I tried the English Lit thing, but I hated having to analyze everything instead of just reading to enjoy the story. I find myself so lost in the story that I dream about the characters! Esp. if it’s a longer series… but book 8 or 9 my brain revolves around the story!
I’m with you. I love a great story with characters you can relate to and reading another chapter to find out what happens next. Those kinds of novels are my favorite.
I like different books for different reasons.
Jen Robinson says
I’m all about story, too. I might enjoy a book more if it also has gorgeous prose, strong characters, etc. But if it doesn’t have story, I won’t read it at all.
I have noticed as I’ve gotten older that I have less of an interest in reading things that are very dark. I love mysteries, but I’ve veered away from serial killer stories, for example. But I still want that “just one more chapter”, for sure.
I’m a story girl too! If I’m reading a book series I will sometimes get caught up with the characters but something needs to be going on as well. Sorta light and fluffy at times for me but historical fiction is good too.
I’m all for the story… the faster and more thrilling the better. One of the best I’ve read so far this year for that is Tsunami by Gordon Gumpertz. It’s a real page-turner that had me holding my breath to the last page.