Some love to curl up with romantic fiction, others bloodcurdling horror; when do we make the choice and what draws us to specific types of genre?
When I was at school the curriculum included Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare, Miller, Kipling and best of all, Orwell, but for my own pleasure I read all the fantasy and science fiction books I could get my hands on. My mother has a voracious appetite for reading and although it was she who introduced me to the world of fantasy fiction, she isn’t a particular devotee of it herself, so it must be the machinations of my own slightly eccentric mind that seeks soulmates on Planet Strange.- - good name for a book!
Friends of mine turn their noses up at fantasy novels, claiming that it’s all nonsense and far-fetched make believe; truth is stranger than fiction after all. That maybe so, but often it’s not always very entertaining when your mind has had enough of the 'real world' for one day. And what’s more, it very much depends on the source of the ‘truth’ as to whether one can believe in it. After all, news reporting is supposed to be factual though we’re all aware it’s largely politically biased propaganda.
Mysteries and thrillers; yes I like those too, but then they often border on fantasy to some degree, which is probably why they are on my reading list. One might even suggest that George Orwell’s 1984 is more prophesy than fiction. Sadly, ‘Big Brother’ is now more synonymous with vacuous reality TV than his original incarnation.
Mainstream fiction; what is that exactly? It's a little all-too-encompassing and woolly a description for my brain. I apologise for my ignorance, but it's a category that has always slightly confused my sense of purpose.
Ultimately, we somehow, at some point in our lives, choose which writing genre we would rather spend an evening with. And it seems to me that our reading choices more often than not reflect our personality.