Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Evolution of Reading

One of the good things about not having internet at your home is that you get to use your computer in interesting surroundings.  Today I'm at the Castroville library, in the best area to use a laptop, due to it's desk by the windows and a convenient power strip.  This just so happens to be in the children's book section.

As I look around I'm struck by the fact that the best books really are made for kids.  The covers are way cooler.  They're short enough to read in one sitting.  The words are bigger and they have pictures inside.  Not that I'm asking for a picture on every page, but would it kill publishers to throw in a half-page drawing now and again?

I used to consume books voraciously, until I got into High School.  It was just so hard to find books that interested me.  You really can't tell by looking at the cover of most books for adults whether the book will be good or not.  And they are so long.  I enjoy John Grisham books but the guy has a way of shoehorning a 600 page story into a 1000 page book.  I feel like I'm travelling down a river, with moments of intensity followed by stretches of laborious rowing to get to the next interesting section.

There's something to be said for getting to the point.  I finished the last book in the Hunger Games Trilogy last night, and I think that is their best feature - not a lot of extra fluff; the stories move quickly along.  Sure, the main character is pretty flawed.  And apparently any book with a female lead that is written in the first person must have 2 guys vying for her love.  Is this every teenage girl's fantasy, or is it just that hard to write a story with only one love interest?  I don't know, but hey, at least the plot moves along at a fast clip. If only it had a nice illustration every 70 pages or so.  I guess you can't have it all.