Tuesday, March 19, 2013

President's Message: Shake it Up

As President of The Thousander Club, I wish to highlight an important guideline (not that there are any unimportant guidelines) for my fellow Thousanders; to wit, Thousanders are encouraged to "read multiple books in various genres and categories."  In our official Welcome to the Thousander Club video I joked: "Don't get stuck in Young Adult."  But let me reiterate that advice without focusing on Young Adult literature—don't get stuck in any genre or category. 

No doubt all readers gravitate toward our favorite genres and topics.  I, for example, have an obsessive fascination with American History and Constitutional Law and have read dozens of books in those areas of interest.  Yet, I've also made a deliberate choice to read books in genres I wouldn't normally be attracted to, and my reading experience has been greatly benefited because of it. 
One way I have found very helpful in keeping my reading choices varied and interesting is to switch between fiction and non-fiction books.  In other words, I'll read a work of fiction and then a work of non-fiction and so on and so forth.  Looking over my list of books I've read, I can see I have stayed fairly consistent with this pattern for some time.  A quick glance at my list from last year reveals the pattern:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (2012/04/27)

Saturday by Ian McEwan (2012/05/14)

Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty by Randy Barnett (2012/06/05)

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (2012/06/16)

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis (2012/07/01)

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle  (2012/07/12)

This is just one pattern, of course, albeit I found it very effective.  I do see a need for greater variance in the non-fiction I read.  (As aforementioned, I'm a huge sucker for American History and Constitutional Law and there is plenty to read in those fields).  By alternating between fiction and non-fiction I have found a personally fulfilling cycle that always keeps my reading interesting.  I always know I have something to read next that is different than what I'm currently reading. 

You could do something similar with this pattern with genres as well.  If you are one of those individuals that find themselves constantly returning to young adult, make a commitment to read a book from a different genre—fantasy, science fiction, autobiography, whatever—and then return to young adult.  You're not abandoning what you love.  In fact, you may find you enjoy it all the more since you've experienced something else.

-Adam C. Zern

No comments:

Post a Comment