In the same way the food you eat literally builds and shapes your body, the books you read shape your mind. What you read, forms the basis for your beliefs, and serves as your base of knowledge. Books color the way you view the world and how you interact with people. Words have power when spoken but they have just as much power when read. Did you know that the type of books you like to read says more about you than the clothes you wear? One of the tools that FBI agents use to learn about the mind of a serial killer is to review the list of books they have checked out from the library.
What have you been reading? I challenge you to take a look at what you like to read? List the top five genres that you read regularly in order of importance to you. Then ask yourself the following questions:
- What is it about the number one genre that I like the most?
- Do I primarily read for information or entertainment?
- If you could not complete the list because you only read one or two types of books, what don’t you like about other genres?
They say self-examination is good for the soul. However, the answer to these questions will lead you to some important insights as to the type of person you are becoming. For example, If you only read nonfiction/self-help books and you primarily read for information, you are most likely looking for a solution. I know people who don’t like reading newspapers or magazines because bad news and current events depress them. There are other people who have to read dry academic writing for work and so when they sit down to read for pleasure, they only read fiction, because they need to escape.
If you want to be a well-rounded individual and writer, you should read a balanced mixture of fiction and non-fiction and several genres. I tend to lean toward non-fiction, so I on occasion will make myself read fiction. I’ve also recently tried my hand at writing my first novel, just to prove to myself that I can write fiction. I prefer a good mystery, but have challenged myself to read a sappy love story. Sometimes I’ll ease into a genre that I’m not as familiar with by reading what I call a hybrid genre. I’d rate Science Fiction as last on my list, but a Sci Fi Whodunit might grab my attention.
Next time you reach for a book consider that maybe it is not you that chooses the book but maybe the book has chosen you. There are times when I’ll find a book at the precise time I need to read it. Then there are books that I’ve bought and could not read them until years later. But when I did, I found I was in a place to receive the information, whereas I may not have been when I bought it.
Until Next Time,
Nicole D.P. McLaughlin
- Life as a Genre Hopper (thegirlwhokeepsreading.wordpress.com)
- Non-Fiction Books Are Also A Joy to Read (bookseller16.wordpress.com)