This week’s topic: What genres do you read? Why?
I normally read at least one book a week. Usually, I’m reading in the evening, as it’s my way to relax at the end of the day. But I also hate to just sit, so if I’m waiting for an appointment (I no longer have to wait for children in music lessons, rehearsals, or sports) I’ll read in my car or waiting room. I normally have one book on my iPad, another one on my phone, and now and then I’ll have a third one on my laptop. But every now and then I’ll change things up by reading a print book, either to give my eyes a break, because it’s been taking up space on my shelf, or because I won it somewhere. But I’m always reading. I think part of the problem is that so many things interest me, that I’m often sidetracked while researching online or even browsing through my social media outlets. I’ll see a blog post or news article that catches my eye and I’m off. An hour or two later I’m asking myself why I sat down in front of my laptop.
When it comes to books, my choice of reading material depends on when and where I’m reading. If I’m reading at the end of the day, then my purpose is to relax. And if I’m using this time to de-stress, I find my tastes run more toward light romances and cozy mysteries. Some might say the choice of romances is actually a form of research. I’ve heard more than one successful writer recommend reading heavily in your genre. I guess that’s sound advice. I read a lot of books before I could pinpoint what I liked and what I disliked – and that helped me decide what to write. It was romance that got me through a stressful time in my life, and I devoured them. So then I decided to write them. My favorites at the moment are Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber, but most of the time I’m reading books by people I have a personal connection with. About five years ago, we discussed our feelings about Happily-Ever-After (HEA), Happily-For-Now (HFN), or tragic endings, and I shared my thoughts in this post.
I also love to read cozy mysteries. I think this is partly because I love to solve puzzles – word puzzles, number puzzles, and of course jigsaw puzzles – and solving a mystery is like piecing a puzzle together. I’ve reviewed several books by Donna Andrews and Jana DeLeon (my current favorite), as well as Joanne Fluke and Janet Evanovich. When I need a challenge, I’ll pick up one of their books. I doubt that I’ll ever write a cozy, because that involves thinking backward – you start with the solution and work your way back through all the red herrings and motivations back to the original mystery. My mind doesn’t like to go backward! But I sure enjoy reading these.
Another type of book I enjoy (although I don’t know if this is a genre) are the Chicken Soup books and others like them, in which several short personal stories appear in a single volume. These are nice for when I have limited time to read. I can open it up and read one, and set it aside because I’m not in the middle of a scene or story. This is the type of book I usually read on my phone.
So, there’s a look at what’s on my reading list! What’s on yours?