Bookfessional: Read What You Love, Not What You “Should.”

Posted April 21, 2017 by Jessica in Bookfessional, Jessica / 15 Comments

Bookfessional: What does that even mean, anyway?

This is a big ol’ peeve of mine. I’m talking HEP big.

A lot of it probably stems back to my college days when I rarely had time to read anything that wasn’t required, but even if I hadn’t majored in English, I’d still get irritated by the idea that one type of book is “better” than another.

1. I don’t care what you’re reading, it’s better than not reading.

2. Why is your book better than mine(, punk)?

When it comes to fiction, I find that there are two main types of readers: those who want to be edified and those who want a brief escape from reality.

The arguments between the two groups can get rather heated. The knowledge-seekers call the reality-escapees lowbrow pedestrians, and the reality-escapees call the knowledge-seekers elitist snobs, etc. *sighs*

BUT.

I say it’s not that simple.

2. If you’re reading fiction, you’re reading to be entertained. Regardless of what your secondary objective is, your first priority is entertainment. Pretending otherwise is just silly. #notfoolinganyone

2. (I think) They’re just two different ways of trying to accomplish the same thing.

It’s the difference between the Thinkers and the Feelers.

I’m an escapist reader b/c I want to FEEL something. Whether it’s vicariously re-experiencing something like the thrill of first love or something that I’d never be able to do in real life (like SAVE THE WORLD), when I’m fully immersed in a good book, I’m feeling the same things the characters are feeling.

When someone dies, the loss is devastating. Or thrilling, as the case may be. I feel the dread as it builds towards a betrayal the MC and I both felt coming, but hoped against hope that we were wrong about. The elation that follows a victory, the fury at sabotage, the fear when a friend is in danger, the relief when that same friend is safely returned . . . A good author can make me feel it all.

B/c I’m a Feeler.

It makes sense to me that a Thinker would only be able to achieve the same kind of thrill through gaining some new knowledge or insight.

But the pursuit is basically the same.

So can one really be better than the other?

Pfft.

And besides, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d rather be finding my next good read than wasting time arguing over why my way is better than yours. 🎶Why can’t we be friends?🎶

What about you? What do you most want out of the books you read? And isn’t it diversity that keeps things interesting?

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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15 responses to “Bookfessional: Read What You Love, Not What You “Should.”

  1. Omigosh Jessica, you nailed it!

    As a Portuguese girl I’ve always felt like second quality reader when searching for a book to read in the middle of the Nobel prizes, and the classic authors and the whatnots… Thank the Universe for the Harry Potters and the Twilights and yes, even Fifty Shades, that opened up the market… because it was a “serious” reading or a harlequin romance.
    Heck, Mercy Thompson was cancelled at River Market and Kate Daniels isn’t even found. NOT EVEN IN ENGLISH. Not all is bad.. Anne Bishop is still present, Kim Harrison too… and some others.

    Me? I started reading in English, shopping at bookdepository and got a kindle. Problem solved. Nobody tells this girl what to read! (well.. Steven does, but I do the same to him, so we’re good)
    Sonia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #15: How to Hook a Harpy

    • SONIA!! I didn’t know you were Steven’s Sonia!

      Good on you for refusing to let a language barrier keep you from the books you wanted. And HA! Steven tries to tell me what to read too, but I’m still only four books into DRESDEN. 😉

      • Yep. I’m Steven’s Sonia 🙂

        Uhmmm Dresden… right… I was binge reading it with him, but then abandoned the race because of my Ty&Zane obsession… I eventually went back to the unfinished book, and read the next one (number 9 I think), but he still hasn’t forgiven me. He doesn’t talk about it, but deep down…. And then there is Toby… or Jane… *whistles*

  2. I read what I want, but when it comes to someone outside of my bookish blog community asking me what I’m reading, I get ready for the questions. They will want to know WHY I would read stuff like that. Isn’t that for kids, blah blah. I’m like you, I’m looking to feel. I want in the middle of this story, fighting off the bad guys and maybe having an affair with a vampire! I just don’t like the looks and the judgments of those readers that don’t read what I do. I’ll read what I want dammit!
    Tanya recently posted…Review ~ Big Vamp On Campus by Molly Harper @MollyHarperAuth

  3. Hey Jessica, I’ve been so busy I feel out of touch. Briefly, when I worked big corporate I was able to take a 3 day class my employer had which had a whole slew of tests to determine things like thinking vs. feeling in many frameworks. The result was – I am what is called Intense – basically I am both. I read mostly for the FEEL but I’m also thinking so the best books for me have both aspects. I learn things and my emotions go through the wringer. Anne
    Northwoman recently posted…Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

  4. I can’t agree enough with this article and love the way you explained it. I can’t stay literary elticism but I see it all the time, even with fiction readers who already read casual fiction that people who only follow the classics may look down on. I see so many insults toward readers of Twilight, but they’ll read other paranormal fiction. Or romance readers hating on those who read Fifty shades. I can get speaking your mind on not wanting to read it or not liking the book, but the annoying jabs towards readers that do? Irritating. And of course like you said you get the academic versus the fun…it seems we’re just destined to branch off into us vs. them groups.
    Erin recently posted…Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss

  5. I read to escape and I think it’s why I have a harder time with non fiction. I am also one of those that if everyone says it’s so good you should read it I probably won’t read it or it will take me longer to try it cause I don’t like be told I should read it. I didn’t even pick up Harry Potter until after I found out my 55 year old male boss was reading them and I got curious and had to check it out…lol. Before that I never had an inkling to read them. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…Book Review: In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

    • HA. I actually sometimes gravitate to books that everyone else hates, b/c I usually like them. And it was the same for me with Harry Potter, only I was like 20 and it was a 30ish coworker. I was like, this dude is super smart, if he likes it, there must be something to it. SO GLAD I checked it out.

  6. I read what I want and I don’t care what anybody thinks. My desire reading stems from the fact that it gives me the opportunity to escape from the hum drum of life for a few hours. There is nothing more exhilierating than being immersed in a story that elicits a range of emotions, be it joy, sorrow, anger or chills. Personally, I don’t believe any book is better that the other. It all boils down to our personal preference, so there is no need to hate on each other because one of us has a preference for fiction and the other non-fiction.
    Nadene recently posted…FRIDAY MEMES: BOOK BEGINNINGS and FRIDAY 56