Monday, November 8, 2010
Yesterday, we covered hated movies. You know, the worst movies you've ever seen? It was fun to read the passionate posts that evolved. Sometimes I think we argue more strongly against the things we dislike than we do for the things we care strongly for. I also find myself disregarding entire genres/niches/styles of various things simply because I've experienced an unpleasant example from their ranks that caused me to generalize against the entire lot. It is easier to rail against the entire segment than to give it another honest try. I get so caught up in creating excuses for avoiding it that I don't see how it would take less time to just dive in and test the water.
I think we all do it in one way or another. Especially with books. I can't tell you how many people beg off reading the classics because they are too long or too intimidating or they think they are no longer relevant to our world today. Which is why I posted a fun synopsis of each section of War & Peace with my blogging buddy, Stacy, as we read along in order to show such people that classics are fun, engaging and actually quite relevant because human nature "is what it is." However....
I avoid fantasy/dystopia/science fiction like the plague. I used to love fantasy when I was growing up. It made me a voracious reader of series after series of fantastical worlds that helped me escape from the struggles of my youth. I've always enjoyed sci-fi TV shows and movies. Never have a problem buying into the alternate reality they present. Yet for some reason, I now instinctively turn my nose away from those genres in my reading on a regular basis. "Ugh," my inner voice always says. Why? I think as I grew older I found a love for biographies, memoirs, non-fiction and reality TV. The real stuff going on attracts me more than worlds that don't exist. But then again, reality TV is truly...fantasy.
So that I am not a hypocrite for pushing the classics while shunning the fantasy genre with equal conviction, I do my best to shove that "ugh" aside and dabble into my least favorite genre every now and then. And you know what? I actually really like it. I am always surprised too. I love "The Handmaid's Tale." I love "The Book of Lost Things." I love "The Time Traveler's Wife." I cannot wait to finally begin the "Outlander" series. You can keep "Brave New World" however. That is one classic of this genre that I could not get behind. But I'm not letting it deter my evolution as a reader.
For as lazy as I am in the rest of my life, I refuse to be lazy with my reading habits. There are books that are terrible. And they exist in all genres. Which is why one bad apple is no reason to turn against the fruit entirely. Otherwise you'd miss out on some very tasty apple pie.