07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Is it Time for a Reader Makeover?

 As a reader, I’ve often discovered myself in a rut. 
In second grade, it was a non-fiction, day-in-the-life-of-a-wild-animal rut. In fourth grade, it was a Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys mystery rut. In high school, it was a Science Fiction and Fantasy novel rut.
Interspersed between the ruts were forays into adventure stories, ghost stories, hero dog/horse/cat true stories, coming-of-age stories, orphan stories, adventure stories, road trip stories, biographies, thrillers, historical fiction, gothic romances—you name it, I read it.
 How does a reader settle into a rut? 
Maybe a certain type of story or character resonates at a specific stage in our life. Or we develop a passion for travel or history or puzzles. Maybe we fall in love with an author’s voice. Perhaps we find an answer to a problem, catharsis in tears or comfort in happily-ever-afters.
 Or maybe it’s an accidentally-acquired habit. Our friends were all reading Harlequin Romances or literary best sellers, so we followed suit. Or we read Nancy Drew #1 and felt compelled to conquer the whole series. By that time, reading mysteries had become a habit. Or reading books in series had become a habit. Or both.
 Be that as it may, as readers we do get into ruts. I wonder if reading ruts are good or bad for us? When I realize I’m in a rut, my first inclination is to break out. But I’ve also read certain types of books as therapy or to escape reality when going through tough times. Like so many things in life, I guess it depends.

What do you do when you notice you’re in a reading rut? Does it bother you? Why or why not?


Paty Jager said...

I tend to go back and forth kind of like you talk about. First it was all horse books I read, then mysteries, then Gothic romance, back to mysteries then historical romance and contemporary romance... Right now I'm not in a rut. I'm just trying to read books that I've downloaded to my ereader no matter what the genre! LOL

Ruts don't bother me. If I'm enjoying a certain type of book I keep reading until I get tired of them or find something the grabs my attention.

Sarah Raplee said...

Paty, I'm in the same boat at the moment-trying to get the books on my ereader read. :)

I'm thinking ruts are okay, as long as they don't close a person off to trying something new at some point.

Thanks for your comment.

Diana Mcc. said...

I don't feel like I get in reading ruts. If I read a mystery, the next book will most likely be a historical. I enjoy not reading the same genre in a row. By the way, Sister, the picture of the little girl sure resembles you as a child! Did you choose that picture because she looked like you??

Judith Ashley said...

I love reading historicals but then I love history. I have authors I enjoy and will read everything they publish within that genre. Having said that, I have certain genres I just do not read no matter how well they are written, no matter the buzz, etc.

I write contemporary romance and I do read several authors in that genre.

I don't think when I read 5 - 10 historical or contemporary books in a row as being in a rut. Why? Because I either read for enjoyment and if I'm enjoying the books I don't consider myself in a rut or I'm reading for craft - to see how an author I like or a debut author uses setting, or description, or dialogue, or point of view or deep point of view, etc.

So the first picture reminds Diana of you when a child? Will definitely go back and look at it again.

Diana Mcc. said...

Yep! Judith! Sarah was really blond and wore bangs and pigtails!!!

Sarah Raplee said...

Yes, Diana,I picked the photo because she reminded me of me as a child!

Judith, You make some good points about reading selections being choices - which means it's important to make them with self-awareness.

Thank you both for your comments!