Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The 4x10 Reading Challenge Update #1

So, I finished my first book on my list, Twilight on Sunday. Like I said earlier, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was a quick read, but this isn't my type of book at all. I'm not sure I would have picked up this book even if I were still a teenager. I've never really been into the supernatural or fantasy genres. What you have here is a doomed romance between a human girl and a vampire boy. I admit that I don't know much about vampire folklore and I don't really care to increase my knowledge of vampires. I found the dialogue between the main character Bella and her vampire boyfriend, Edward so stiff at times that the book lost its sense of flow.

I know that there's a boom in both children's and young adult literature probably because of the Harry Potter phenomenon. When I was kid, authors like Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, Carolyn Keene and Tolkien were popular (just like today). I don't remember there being a Harry Potter type book that captured young readers by the millions. I don't remember bookstores opening up at midnight to hold release parties for anticipated new children's books. I do, however, remember my weekly visit to my school's very limited library where soon I had read everything by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Noel Streatfeild, Beverly Cleary and Carolyn Haywood. I do remember when the Choose Your Own Adventure books came out. The boys in my class loved them, but they weren't too popular with the girls. I read one, but even then I found them kind of flimsy in substance. Despite their popularity, I know that they were nothing compared to J.K. Rowling's success. I started to think back to my fifth grade year in which author Marian T. Place came to visit our class. She had written several books both fiction and non-fiction about Bigfoot. We were assigned to read one of her novels and some non-fiction. Well, as you already know that I don't care for vampires you might also guess that I really don't care for Bigfoot either. Why I can even remember the author's name is any one's guess. I suppose that I was excited to meet a real live author despite not liking her books much.

Trust me, these are the things that ran through my head as I read Twilight. I didn't have to wonder how the Twilight series became a huge bestseller. With the internet I know that there is just more media exposure for books now. Currently, many children's books are being adapted to the big screen like The City of Ember, Tuck Everlasting, The Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn-Dixie, and A Series of Unfortunate Events to name just a few. I remember as a kid that I was excited if a new movie that I wanted to see was based on a book because then I could go check out the book and see how the book was different than the movie. Every book Luke has read or listened to has gone on to become a major motion picture. Recently, we re-listened to Prince Caspian just so we could talk about how much it differed from the new movie. With sites like GoodReads, people can talk about books in a way that wasn't possible before the internet. What I've discovered is that people like talking about books both good and bad. I know that Oprah had a huge impact with her wildly popular book club in the late nineties. I even read a few of her book club selections at the time. Anyway, although I didn't care much for Twilight, I love that there is so much outlet for book discussion now. Everyone wants to talk about books. Everybody likes a good story.


Meredith said...

Talking about books is almost as fun as reading them :)

heidi said...

I couldn't even finish watching Prince Caspian because of how different from the book it is. I had trouble with the Lord of the Rings Triology, too. I guess I'm just a purist but I hate when books I love are ruined when they become movies!