Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Adventures in Reading

Today I found a Disney calendar, and on it was a pic from an old 1946 Disney film, Make Mine Music. One of the shorts in the film was about "Casey at the Bat", with Jerry Colonna reciting the sad story of Mighty Casey, a baseball player who loses his touch and can no longer hit the ball.

On the calendar Mighty Casey is snubbing a ball being thrown for his bat, because he felt like "it's not my style" and refused to hit it.

This little calendar shook me up a little.

How many times have I said, with my nose in the air, "not my style" to a book and wouldn't try it? Just because I think I have obtained some sort of superiority in reading material? Surely not.

And what's worse, I will bet I am not alone. I will bet there are others like me who say, oh no, I won't buy that type of mystery, it's too cutesy, or no I refuse to try that fantasy novel, it's too familiar. Why? Will we be something less than we should be by trying something new, by giving something different a chance? Go ask Casey. Or better yet, let's try an experiment.

For today, just for once, go to your library, or your fav bookstore, and look at books you never would have tried. See if you can get over your Casey at the Bat sort of book-block. Wouldn't it be great if you discovered a new author? Someone you had no idea existed, but who writes the most fabulous type of suspense drama that you thought only existed in movies?

Or maybe you find something that sends you to the couch, with a pillow and blanket, and makes you hang on for every page, until the very end, where you hug that book and blubber over true love conquering all.

Anyway, it will be the best thing you have done for yourself for awhile, and to be honest, you'd be making that author's day if you dropped them a line and told them I sent you. In fact, tell them I did this hunt for the newest craze, too. My letter will be right behind yours.


Marta Stephens said...

You're right, if the work is well written, genre shouldn't matter.

There is nothing better than to get lost in a story, lose time, forget to cook or pick up the kids, because you can't put down the book!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

What a wonderful challenge, Kim! I'm up for it. Last night I picked up a writing book I'd been meaning to read for ages - and got engrossed in it right away. Simply written, with excellent examples, it's a fascinating read! By the way, it's called Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strageties for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark. Beryl Singleton Bissell turned me on to this fellow, who is her friend and has also been on tons of talk shows,etc. Guess he knows his stuff!