Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ask Book Chic (6)

Liz asks "Do you prefer when a story is in 1st or 3rd person? Do you have a preferred age for the protagonist? How old do they have to be for you to relate to them and not feel disconnected?"

I think I prefer 1st person and it's the one I've read the most of and also feel most comfortable writing in as well. I do enjoy 3rd person every so often and have been reading more of it and it gets less jarring the more I read it. When I first read Wake by Lisa McMann, it was the first 3rd person novel I'd read in a LOOOONG time so I was jarred while reading it because of the 3rd person disconnect. I did still enjoy the novel though and its sequels, and it's now easier for me to read 3rd person.

I don't have a preferred age for a protagonist. I'm 24, but I can read any age range (and do) and feel connected to the characters. The author's job is to get us to connect to the characters and if they're doing it right, it doesn't matter what age you are. Also, most of the time, I don't even notice age, unless it's a middle grade novel.

Molly asks "Is there anything that you do differently when you read to review than when you read just for fun (not that reading to review isn't fun)?"

This will sound very bad of me, but I hardly read for fun anymore. Maybe every once in a while, I'll get a book from the library and just read it without reviewing it, but I have so many review books that I don't have time to read outside of this blog. But like you said in your question, reading for review is still fun. I genuinely enjoy reading all the books I get and it's never felt like a job to me or anything like that. Sometimes I will dread writing reviews because I'm lazy, but I know all bloggers go through that every so often. That's kind of why I'm glad I've gotten ahead with all my reviewing. If I decide to wait a few days to write a review, it's not a big deal because it's not going up for several weeks anyway. It's more relaxing to me now than it used to be, but that pressure before was mainly from myself. I usually ask too much of myself, lol.

But when I do read for non-review purposes, I don't think I do anything differently. While reading, I usually don't think about the review unless something jumps out at me and I think "Oh, I need to be sure to mention that." Most of the time though I think about it after finishing the book, so for non-review books, I just move on without dwelling on it, lol.

Liviania asks "Why do you think young boys are reading less than young girls?"

I think it has to do with the machoness of reading, or the lack thereof. Boys seem to be ingrained with the thinking that reading is not cool, is nerdy, will get you pummelled, etc. Girls, on the other hand, don't worry about that sort of thing, at least to my knowledge (I'm not a girl, nor have I been one, despite what you may have heard from me at BEA). So they're more open to reading books; there's also the fact that a LOT of YA literature is more geared toward girls. There's not a lot of books from guy perspectives and they're hard to find in the mass of teen girls on the YA shelves. That could be another reason- the fact that the boys in question would have to browse and sift through the girl books (when there are quite a few girl books that have crossover appeal) and not be able to just grab and go, there's a risk that they might be spotted by fellow peers and labeled a nerd or whatever.

But it makes me happy to see sites like GuysLitWire (which I contribute to once a month!) and GuysRead that focus on getting more boys to read and to see that reading is a ton of fun for everyone! :)

Does anyone else have any thoughts about why boys don't read as much as girls? I think it's a really interesting discussion.


  1. I'm about to go to sleep, but real quick:

    Girls who read all the time will be labeled nerds and sometimes picked on.

    As a result, I am deadly with a mass market paperback.

  2. I think you're right about there not being as many books. I teach 5th grade and it's much easier for me to find books that the girls can relate to than the boys - especially the boys who are reluctant readers to begin with.

  3. I'd like to point out that, as guys, we must play video games, too, whereas girls do not have that problem. ;)

    As for reading for fun vs. review, lots of the books I review I would be reading for fun anyway, and lots of the books I read for fun I review anyway, so I don't think it's more of a bok0by-book thing. However, and I don't know about you, I find that when I am reading a book expressly for review, I pay attention to a lot more little things, craft, voice, sentence length, vocabulary, etc.