One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I’m a trollop when it comes to my reading material.
If you look at my Goodreads list, you’ll find a lot of stuff on there that isn’t “literature.”
It’s just plain trashy.
And at one point, I was ashamed of it. But how can you blame me for being ashamed? I run a Common Reader program. I talk about author quality, writing styles and various other academic issues. And yet, my Kindle is just trash!
Until I realized that it really doesn’t matter, as long as I’m constantly reading, challenged by the work in front of me.
A friend and I decided to read The Vampire Academy series together after I’d seen the movie previews. I don’t often feel compelled to read along with a movie series, but I thought it looked like something I might enjoy.
I get that it’s a young adult series. I know that it isn’t literature. But, it did help me remember what I know about writing.
There has to be a plot. The characters, even in a made up world, have to do things that follow the path the author’s laid out. When they act out of character, I call a spade a spade. I allow for character growth in saying this. Sometimes an author just paints him or herself into a corner they can’t remove themselves from without breaking character. As a reader, I get to call the bluff.
Understanding that even in the worst writing, I can still learn about writing is key. We often worry about what our kids read. My thoughts, today, reflect the idea that it doesn’t matter what they read – so long as they read broadly. No genre is taboo, or verboten. They all have value.