Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Of What Does Your Diet Consist?


Ugh, the nightmare of posting a blog is once again upon me so, here goes...

Yesterday, I was perusing some of my preferred author's websites to check out what's new in their writing lives and find out what they have on their "recommended reads" lists.

This got me to thinking. (Yeah, scary concept, me thinkin' and all.)

Anyway, what I started to think about is...

How does one open their reading horizons and try new authors or genres? Do they go to their favorite authors and see what they recommend, or do people talk to friends about it? Perhaps a bookseller shares their ideas, or even a librarian. I wonder. :)

For so long, my reading diet was of one genre, only. I supped upon Regency romance till stuffed. It grieved me to find myself full, yet unsatisfied in my voracious appetite to read. Then one day I whiffed the tantalizing scent of YA books, took a nibble, and found myself snacking on this delightful new flavor, too.

Now, I no longer gorge myself on any one genre; instead, I gnaw here and there on the lighter sides of paranormal, romantic suspense, and even science fiction. This new variety of flavors is very enjoyable.

So tell me, how or what do you do to broaden your reading scope?


Paty Jager said...

Ah, finally a diet that has no calories! Great blog, Piper!

I have always tasted different genres. I read mystery/suspense, any type of historical (though you know my preference), contemporary, I've even read 1 1/2 erotica books (yeah one was just too-too!) I have read light paranormal ( no vampires) and I've read mainstream. So I have a pretty well rounded diet. I just wish I had more time to read!

I'll pick up authors I've not read before if I see something they wrote that intrigued me or I've met them and liked them. I don't always read a book because someone else says it's great. I've been disappointed which also leads me to wondering just how much reviews do for an author... I mean it is one person's opinion. But then that's another topic for another time!

If you don't see me on here for a while, you know where I am!

Karen Duvall said...

Ooh, Piper, your post made me hungry. 8^) What an excellent use of metaphor. What a writer you are! You need to treat us to more of your witty prose.

I used to read lots of different genres, but lately I've stuck pretty exclusively to urban fantasy. However, I'm getting kind of full of it. Snort. I have several unread romances on my shelf, and some women's fiction I really need to read for its nutritional value. 8^)

I often make my book buying decisions based on recommendations from people I know. But I always go to the author's website first to read a sample chapter. That's usually enough to help me choose a book, and if I don't care for the style or voice, I'll pass. There's a new urban fantasy out that's getting lots of buzz in the UF community, and the premise is intriguing, but I didn't care for the sample I read. Though the book is published with a major publisher, the writing is clunky and in need of editing to tighten it up. That won't bother most readers, probably, but it nixed the deal for me.

It's all very subjective.

Alice Sharpe said...

Piper, I too, loved your metaphor. Good thing it's almost lunchtime.

Sometimes I read about a book or an author in Time magazine or US News and World Report, the only two rags that are around the house, and I get interested in a book. Or I'll read about an author's story or listen to an interview that piques my curiosity. I seldom read books because of personal recommendations and I just really couldn't care less what my favorite writers like to read. Why would I care about that? I don't get it.

And sometimes I look at the new book shelf at the library and choose because of a title and I guess I have to go back on recommendations, because if the librarian likes a book and suggests it to me, I sometimes pick it up and read it. He's been responsible for some tasty new treat sensations!

Bon Appetite'!

Fun blog!

Anonymous said...

LOL - Hey Paty, good thinking, no calories! I love it!

Wow, you do diversify your reading, girl.

You're right about reviews for authors, it makes me wonder now, too. It's that whole "Beauty in the eyes of the beholder" thingy, or like Karen said, stuff is so "subjective".

Take care and stay away from those Alaskan beasties!

Anonymous said...

Gee, thanks Karen for the plaudits. *blush* I didn't mean for it to be a metaphor or anything, I was just rambling because I had to post today. LOL

I really like the YA urban fantasy I've read by Scott Westerfeld. At least, I think his stuff could be categorized as YAUF.

Maybe when you have a minute you could list a few of the not so scary/dark UF you've read and liked so I can check them out too, just remember, I'm a wimp. ;)

I like going to an author's website to read their excerpts, too. It's very helpful and saves me from buying something I may hate. Great suggestion.

And I'll remember that you're the one who said you're "full of it" and use that against you when I can. LOL!! Kidding!

Anonymous said...

Alice- So, what did you have for lunch? My mom used to use that saying, "You send them to school and send them to school, and all they do is eat the books.", I've never understood it, but it popped into my mind when you said it was almost lunch time. Yes, I'm aware I have a weird brain in case you were wondering. :)

I'm intrigued by the fact that you get interested in a book by reading articles from those magazines, or "rags" as you put it. LOL

I've not read those rags and didn't know they had such articles in them. Cool.

Okay, so when I read your comment about not caring a fig about what your favorite authors read I had to roll on the floor and laugh, well -- almost, the floor needs to be vacuumed or I would have, but anyway, I lol'd because you're so funny.

What I meant when I said I go read what my favorite authors recommend is that they and I generally have the same tastes in reading material and they usually put forth a good recommendation or two. I wouldn't read something they recommend just because I think they are cool or whatever. LOL

I should go check out our little town library again. It just costs so much moolah to belong anymore that I've put off signing up. It's totally cool that you have a male librarian where you are. I don't think I've ever seen one. I may have to get my camera out and come take a picture. Kinda like the zoo or something. :)

Thanks for your great comments!

Karen Duvall said...

Piper, I tend to read some pretty scary stuff, but you might really enjoy Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. There's some romance in it that's quite clean with lots of smoldering sexual tension. The wardens affect the weather. Genies play a huge role in it, too. It's a fun series.

I haven't read Stephanie Meyer's YA vampire books, but hear they are quite the thing. Her debut made it to the NY Times bestseller list and her second book had a million copy print run. I bought Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, also YA only it's about faeries, but I haven't read it yet because it's a hardback and difficult to take with me to the gym. I don't usually buy hardback books, but the buzz about this one was just too good to pass up.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Wicked Lovely. Great title, isn't it! I've picked up that book so many times to buy it but I put it back on the shelf because it's a hard back. When it comes out in paper back I'll buy it. :)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Stephenie Meyers! Her writing is fabulous. I'm totally in love with the vampire hero, Edward. (heart beeping here.)

Thanks for the recommends!

Lori Barber said...

When I want to add a good book to my diet I don't mind if friends slather on choice recommendations. Catchy titles and back page blurbs from the shelves of my church and town libraries have been known to intensify my hunger pains too. Some have enticed me to devour a book in one sitting, rather than nibble a chapter or two at a time. I've also feasted on a few tomes advertised in the RWA magazine too.

If a book tickles my taste buds, I'm back in line elbowing my way for seconds and thirds from the author.

A book in hand tames a readers growling appetite. Or, tis a healthier diet to embrace a good book than a box of sweet treats.


Anonymous said...

Lori said-- "If a book tickles my taste buds, I'm back in line elbowing my way for seconds and thirds from the author."

This was very cute, Lori!

Thanks for your fun comments!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of nibbling and gnawing, I posted on my own personal blog today to let you all know what not to keep in your dresser drawers and why.

If you want to read it, there's a link on this blog's home page. :)

Paty Jager said...

Cute comments, Lori! And just what I'd expect from someone as talented as you!

And Piper, it's about time you updated that personal blog!

Everyone had some great info on how they taste books.

Danita Cahill said...

I'm a little ashamed to admit it, Piper, especially as an author myself, but I buy most of my books second hand, borrow them off my mother's bookshelves, or receive them free at writer's workshops and conferences. It's people like me that are damaging the book industry. No, wait. It's people who don't read at all who are damaging the book industry.

Never mind.

I try new genres if they are given or loaned to me and they look and sound interesting.