Rule 2: Every Reader His / Her Book & Rule 3: Every book it’s reader
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This is reminiscent of the J.K. Rowling quote:”If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”
There is a book for every reader. A book for me may not be the same as a book for you. A genre I may hate, you may love. A writer that inspires me may fall flat to you. Reading is not a universal experience, but isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to all like the same things?
So when you read a book everyone else seems to be crazy about and you just don’t get the appeal, it’s not that you are wrong or that everyone else is wrong. Not every book appeals to every reader. When you hype a book you love to your book club and none of them think it’s that great, neither them nor you are wrong. Isn’t that the point of book clubs, to discuss your varying opinions and perspectives on the book you all read?
As a writer, this would should be a relief to think about. It is not possible for your book to appeal to everyone. Stop trying. Let it appeal to the people it appeals to. Writer it as you the writer wants to.
As librarian, we try to match the the reader with a book that is right for them. It’s not about our personal preferences as a reader, but helping the reader connect with the type of book they are looking for. I work as a children’s librarian, so that means I have to consider reading level, interests, and genre when connecting readers with the correct book.
Try to add this perspective to your reading. When you read a book you don’t care for (and are in a case where you have to finish it, like book club), try to think about who this book would appeal to. A younger reader? An older one? Someone with a different cultural experience than you? Or just someone with a different taste than you?
A book can be a good book and just not to your taste. Amazing, right?
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
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