“I read because … one of these days I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody, and I want to be ready.” ~ Richard Peck.
It would be easy saying reading is important, and not give any reason as to why. Or even easier to say we read a particular writing style because we like it. But why do we like it?
I really enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers. Is it the pace? The adrenaline rush? The writing? The gut-twisting danger? Yes, all those things and more.
Sure, I enjoy reading anything well-written, but again, that’s too general. While I read a wide variety of books, mysteries/thrillers always rank among my favorites. It’s hard to beat sitting down with a book that has a great plot, terrific characters on both sides of the aisle, good writing, and great forward momentum/pace. That world fascinates me, and I’m not easily fascinated.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a great many literary novels: “The Great Gatsby,” “1984,” Leo Tolstoy’s books, but lately I haven’t been lucky in the literary-novel department.
The Goldfinch (recent Pulitzer Prize winner) grabbed me by the neck, and after a fantastic beginning, I absolutely had to read it. Halfway through the book, and I’m seriously slowing down.
The never-ending rants and ramblings have overstayed their welcome to such a point, I’m not sure I care what happens to the character anymore. I will finish the book, but that’s not because I absolutely have to, but more because hey, I’ve gotten this far.
The second such literary novel, Infinite Jest, forget it. I don’t think I could finish that one. Hundred pages in, and there is no sign of where we’re going. I really enjoy a wonderful, creative, deep, heart-wrenching, all-around gorgeous piece of writing when in combination with some sort of momentum.
And so many pages in, forward momentum is key, isn’t it? For this reason I prefer literary works as short fiction (the author is forced to get somewhere a bit faster).
So here I am, perhaps easily bored, returning to my thriller/mystery reading.
What do you read? And why?
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