Minus the slightly educational-sounding, this is an interesting topic — at least I think so. There’s been some research about the benefits of reading such as gaining knowledge, growing with empathy and compassion, lowering stress, and a whole bunch of stuff. There’s also research on the thought processes involved in picking books that you read. We define what we read as much as it defines us.
What really amazes me is how everyone can read the same book but interpret it completely different and have it affect us on so many levels. It’s crazy to think that our past experiences, imagination, memories, emotions, and so on can influence how we view a particular book. I don’t know about you but sometimes, I feel like I have to be in the right frame of mind to read certain books. Sometimes, I read a book and feel like my 15-year-old self would’ve enjoyed it more than my present self.
I have read from a whole array of genres and none have stuck more to me than Fantasy. I love fantasy books because of how they transport you to a new world. It’s not the regular mundane life. Sometimes it a mix of the real world with the fantasy world, such as incorporating faeries, vampires, angels into our world. Examples: The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Sometimes it’s high fantasy, where its a whole new world and different fictional monsters. Examples: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
As for favorite books, I have to have great characters with great romance. Their story has to really capture me. What makes a book an automatic favorite for me is how deeply I connect with the main character. If I relate to the character and see myself doing what they did in similar situations then it usually becomes a favorite for me. Action is also important for me. I need something to move the plot along. I need things to happen. As for writing, sometimes it’s make it or break it for people, but I’m not too picky. I mean Twilight by Stephenie Meyer was a favorite of mine and you know that wasn’t the best writing.
Sometimes books that were once my favorites become just a memory. I don’t know what happens. I can pinpoint it for some books and then for others, it’s a mystery. Example: Twilight was ruined for me because of the movies. I can’t un-see the movies and that just made me hate the books. Then, there are series/trilogies that were my favorites until I read the last book. This happened to me with Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan and The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo. I hated how they need and I couldn’t see the other books in the same light anymore.
There are books where I know they’re my favorite but I’m not as compelled to reread them like my other favorites. Example: I love, love, love The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins but I can never read it again. On the other hand, I’ve read The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare once a year since Clockwork Princess was released. And I’ve read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han three times … just this year! Finally, there are books like Divergent by Veronica Roth and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. I was in love with these books and then I lost interest after reading it. No explanation really and I still wonder why. I know there are great characters, writing, plot and so on. My brain processes that but then my heart is like nope.
I thought this was really interesting because it’s crazy how our brain processes all of this and how we’re all so different but the same, too. I wanted to see if any other bookworms feel the same way I do or have gone through the “favorite-not-favorite” thing with books. Sorry for the long post and bless you if you read the entire post.
How does your bookish brain look like? Here are some of my questions for you:
- What is your favorite genre and why?
- Do you have an internal checklist the you check off in order for a book to be a favorites?
- Ever had a book that was a favorite and years later, you find that it’s no longer true? What makes you stop liking a book you once loved?
- What makes you more inclined to pick up a certain book? (Is it because it falls under a certain genre? Is it the cover? Is it the synopsis? Do you read the first line/chapter and decide that you’ll get it? Do you pick books because of recommendations? Was the title appealing? Is it a mix of all these?)
- Have you ever felt that a book you just read would have suited you more at a different age or time than when you actually read it?