I read on average a book a day. Which means I read a lot, mainly chick it - which I adore because I really relate to the modern 30 something, hip, positivity of these books even though I know the format.
Girls generally have menial or assistant jobs, they are single not happy with their lives and are looking for a change. Or a boyfriend. Or to leave their jobs. Or are choosing between two guys. Or are raising a child. Or are getting over something.
In chick lit books (I prefer to call them contemporary lit) I relate to the character because generally she is finding out things about herself and trying to make positive changes.
The books cover depression, break ups, moving to new cities, starting jobs, leaving jobs, money problems, weight issues, other issues and circumstances, starting their own businesses, really seeing a relationship for what it is and ultimately (and happily ending) finding their right paths.
And I gather the women who write these books (and men) write from their own experiences or observations or dreams or goals or imagination.
The books which stay with me are the ones with the least obvious endings and the ones where the main character finds her/his own path and happiness despite whatever happens to him/her throughout the pages.
Books, whether they are fiction or not, are to be a way of finding out who I am or not by reading about other lives. I love books that take pace in countries I haven't been to and about jobs which I have never done. The ones about parenting or money issues or weight issues, give me an insight into the choices or struggle or determination of characters and the ones that have a happy ending, make me feel good (and relieved - depending on the book itself).
I liked Jennifer Love Hewitt's The Day I Shot Cupid because it was sweet. It was how I imagined her to be. Sure, it was not the most brilliant nor there was nothing new there that I haven't already heard from peope who want to give others advice about love and relationships.
But it was honest. And quirky. About what she had learnt along her way and things she had found out about herself. And mistakes she had made and what she would and wouldn't do in the future. But it was too simple for me, a little too cutesy and as much as I love Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer, I can see that she was reflecting and emphasising how much love, romance and getting it right with men (with some contradictions, from not playing games, to playing games, to being the woman the man wants you to be, to being more ballsy ... it was a bit confusing)
It got many many reviews, mainly referring to the book as cute, a bit pre-teen, a bit too fluffy and led me the to this blog about book reviews and Big Al's thoughts on negative book reviews. And got me thinking about book reviews.
We read what we want to read. I know that a lot of people have guilty reading pleasures and read books they would not admit to anyone, Mamamia's blog about book shame puts this very nicely; we don't all read classics and huge history tomes every day - at least I don't.
I don't read reviews and so don't really review books on here, because it is just my opinion. I am reading a book about influenza called the Last Town on Earth which I love because it is fascinating and intriguing and in my opinion very well written and I love learning about something whenever I read a book.
I have just finished I Never fancied Him Anyway where Cassie spends a lot of the book dealing with being psychic and finding out about herself. And love. And men. And work. I found the book fascinating because not all pyschics are stereotypical and Cassandra has to face strangers opinions of her.
Even if we are not love a holics like Jennifer or psychics or into a certain genre of books, reading reviews comes (for me) after I have read the book or when I write a post about a certain book . I don't read book reviews that often.
Funny, I am not like this with movies, I will read a review and then not go see a movie based on a stranger's opinion, I love Rotten Tomatoes and I think with me I'd prefer to read than see a movie and when I do, I want to make sure it is something I really want to see.
Not with books, I love to read, and if something is not as good, not as well written, I forget about it very quickly. But the ones that are good, well written, made some sort of impact on me, stay in my head.
Books give me insight, educate me, comfort me, feed me and inspire me. I read to learn.
Do you read reviews before you buy a book?
Or do you just read and read?
I choose books by their titles and covers and the little blurb at the back. And because I read so much, I buy second hand or from charity shops. You?