Has this ever happened to you? (It happened most recently to me this summer with this little old lady at the pool). Maybe it’s because they saw you with a book in your hand and are making small talk or maybe it’s because they’re getting to know you and they’ve just found out that you like to read. “Oh! You are a reader!” And then they ask the loaded question for me…
So, what do you like to read?
Now, at a glance, this seems like a fairly simple question. Something I don’t even need to think about. But it’s me and it’s books and I get way too overexcited.
HOW CAN I EVEN ANSWER THIS QUESTION BEING THE PERSON THAT I AM? I want to ask, “Do you want the short version or the long version? Because really this could take a while.”
And I realize how unhelpful and not conducive this is to continuing this conversation you were trying to have. But I’m not a devotee to one genre so I can give a sweeping answer like, “Oh I read mostly mysteries” or “I’m really into biographies.” I just can’t. I read A LOT of things. For real, genres mean nothing to me. I just read what I want to read.
And sure I could probably rattle off that I love to read all sorts of YA fiction — contemporary, historical fiction, dystopian, fantasy, science fiction, etc. and all sorts of adult fiction — literary, contemporary, women’s fiction, romance, mysteries, historical fiction and that I also love to read non-fiction at times. I COULD. But I feel like nobody wants to HEAR all that.
And even if I listed all that I don’t think I’d feel satisfied and that I really answered the question or represented myself well in it. There’s all sorts of other elements that are essential to understanding what I like to read. For example:
I like to read books that make me cry. That wreck me bad.
I like to read books that are super imaginative and transport me to new worlds.
I like to read books that make me think. The ones that make me dog-ear all the thought provoking parts until I realize that’s like every other page.
I like to read books with characters that jump off the pages. Some that I can relate to and others that I might not be able to relate to but can understand.
I like to read books that make me mad. Make me feel emotions intensely.
I like to read books with swoony romances and kissing. And those can all look different to me.
I like to read funny books with prose so snappy and witty that I can’t help up LOL.
I like to read books that make me want to reread them immediately after.
I like to read books that mess with my mind.
I like to read books that make me never want to read another book ever again because I want to go to the grave with that book being the last book ever that I read. End on a strong note.
I like to read books that change my life.
I like to read books that make me FEEL THINGS.
I like to read books that challenge me.
I like to read books that entertain me.
I know what you are thinking….
Seriously, the way my brain over complicates everything it is!
And, besides the fact that it takes too damn long to answer that question, there’s always a little part of me that is nervous to answer that for fear of judgment. I am loud and proud about what I read and stuff but reading is SUCH a personal, wonderful thing that I don’t need any negative nellies to give me THAT look and say, “Oh like Twilight?” when I tell them that I read YA — in addition to other books. GROWN UP BOOKS EVEN. *Gasp* I hate that look and it makes me want to punt them.
Maybe I’ll just start to direct people to this post when they ask what I like to read. Or maybe I just shouldn’t be so damn complicated all the time and develop and easy yet satisfying answer. Or maybe I’ll just keep saying, “EVERYTHING” or “a little of this or a little of that” to the people who ask me and if they really care to know they will explore a little further.
But seriously, is this question a simple one for other bookworms or do you feel just as stressed about answering it as I do? What’s your answer typically? Are there any other bookish questions that stress you out to answer? I have another doozy of a bookish question coming up in a couple weeks! This one might be the actual worst.