Are there any genres you avoid reading? Why?
By R.J. Harlick
As an avid reader I like to think I have eclectic tastes and will read anything as long as it is well written and a good story. Maybe when I was younger it was the case, but today I’m afraid I stick pretty much to the kind of book I’ve enjoyed in the past, like mysteries, the occasional epic historical, literary fiction and general fiction.
Although I am a great fan of Star Wars and Star Trek, I’ve likely seen every movie and every episode in all their many flavours, I don’t read Sci-Fi. Apart from Frank Herbert’s Dune series, I’ve never been able to immerse myself into their futuristic worlds. While Sci-Fi films will engage me, the books don’t.
The same goes for Fantasy. I liked the Harry Potter movies, but was never able to get into the books. The first Harry Potter book lost my interest part way through, so I never tried another one. But the books have captured the imagination of a generation and made them into big Fantasy fans. I realize this every time I do a book signing and ask an under thirty if they like reading mysteries. Invariably the answer is no, adding Fantasy is their addiction, which does make me wonder who will be reading mysteries twenty years from now.
But I’ve forgotten about J.R.R. Tolkien, the master conjuror of the fantasy world. I devoured all three books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus The Hobbit. But as much as I loved them, it wasn’t enough to entice me to read other Fantasy novels.
I think the reason SciFi and Fantasy books have failed to capture my interest is because their worlds and everything in them are totally fictitious and alien to me. I find I enjoy a book the most when I can relate to something in it and can learn from it. I’m afraid I have little interest in learning about a ‘what if’ world that is entirely a product of a writer’s imagination and bears no relation to the world I live in.
Before I close I mustn’t forget Romance. I love a good romance and have read many of the classics that are more or less romances, such as Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind and the like. But I can’t say that I have ever picked up a modern Romance book. I suppose it’s because I think they, for the most part, are formulistic and populated by cardboard characters. But if any of you can recommend some good ones, as good as the old masters, I’m willing to be persuaded to try one.
Only two more weeks before I’ll be flying off to Phoenix to Left Coast Crime. I tell you I can’t wait for the heat. The snow and cold is beginning to get a tad dreary. On the Wednesday night, February 24th, I along with other Canadian authors, including fellow blogger, Cathy Ace, will be participating in the International Fiction Night at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore from 7:00 to 8:00. My panel, Big Fish in a Small Pond, takes place on the Thursday from 1:30 pm to 2:30. I’ll also be participating in the Speed Dating event early Thursday morning. It’ll be fabulous to see some of you there.