Saturday, 14 September 2013
Book Talk Topic: Growing Up As A Reader
Growing Up As A Reader
Before I discovered Goodreads, reviewing and blogging, I read. Not a big surprise, eh? I have read books for as long as I can remember. Truth be told, I didn't really think about what I was reading then. Didn't think about underlying messages or clichés. I just liked a book or I didn't, and a book just shouldn't be boring. That's it. If I would have rated books then, there probably wouldn't have been any one-star ratings, except maybe for books that were so incredibly boring that I almost fell asleep. It was then that a major thing happened. I discovered Goodreads.
I loved the site immediately. Not only was it incredibly useful for shelving books and discovering new ones, there were reviews. I could spend hours just sitting on the couch reading Goodreads reviews (I still do that, by the way). I especially enjoyed the one-star, ragey reviews. I just thought those were the most fun to read. But through reading these reviews, I discovered and learned. I saw the clichés that were in most books, saw what certain things really meant, and I started growing up.
The best example of my bookish coming-of-age would be the House of Night series. Don't shoot me, but that used to be one of my favorite series. I loved the books, devoured them, even. Actually, it was through these books that I started to read English books. There were just more of the English books of this series since translating takes a while. Since I really couldn't wait for the next book in this series (I know, I know), I decided to read the English version. And the next one. And the next one. And suddenly, I found that the English language was just so much more beautiful. I started to dislike Dutch books. In English, everything just sounds twice as good.
Anywho, Goodreads and English books opened up my world. See, it's mostly the hugely hyped books that get translated into Dutch (think Twilight, House of Night, Fallen). And, I'm sorry to say, it's hugely the hyped books that are quite... crappy (or so I think). I didn't realize how much I was changing as a reader until I read Hidden, the tenth (!!) House of Night book. Good God. I hated it. What utter crap I was reading! It was nonsensical, with stupid Mary Sue characters, a stupid plot, etc. I disliked everything about it.
I rated the first nine House of Night books 4 or 5 stars. The tenth, not so much. I decided not to change my rating of Marked - Destined, though, since I did like the books that much when I read them. But it's striking, isn't it, how much someone can change? Have you changed as a reader? And is there a book or series that's basically a symbol of that growth?