Reading From the Other Side of the Tracks

I’ve never been one to suggest reading books that don’t appeal based on genre, subject, or synopsis. But, if you choose not to read certain books just because they fall under one of those genres—sci-fi, fantasy, or romance—then you are an elitist snob, and we don’t want you in our club. Yes, we name call here, and if you can’t handle it you likely wouldn’t enjoy these genres anyways.

To deny yourself the pleasure of these genres based solely on how it makes you ‘look’ is to deprive yourself of some fabulous reading material. Some of my favorite quotes have come from these genres, and some of them are downright brilliant. And of course, the context in which they’re found is sometimes both ironic and hilarious. Case in point: a friend recently asked for everyone’s favorite quotes on love, and I sent her this line,

“Love is rarely flawless…Humans delude themselves by thinking it has to be. It is the imperfection that makes love perfect.”

She adored the quote and asked me what it was from. I told her Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead. My ears might be bleeding from her screeching laughter.

“Are you actually giving me love quotes from a Succubus?”

“Well, yeah…”

Anyways.

But seriously, good portions of those quotes you share on social media are from authors in these genres. Next time you repost a quote from an author you’re unfamiliar with, I dare you to immediately look that person up and then march yourself down to the library for any one of his/her books. If you like the quote, you’ll probably like the rest of the book too. Just sayin’.

Don’t rob yourself of the joy that is American Gods, Solaris, or Practical Magic (This is totally the safe stuff, guys. Message me for the really juicy, campy goods.) If the title or cover art doesn’t do it for you, take another look. I will admit that I’m guilty of judging a book by its cover, I mean who doesn’t like to look at pretty things? And damn, some of those covers are just gorgeous (I’m looking at you, Euphoria.) But sometimes the packaging is deceiving, and it can go both ways. I’ve read some horrendous books that had a fab title and cover art, yet that book on the bottom of my pile, the one with a title that made no sense and a cover that had me sighing in disappointment, turned out to be my favorite of the haul. I often think that the artwork of these genres does a huge disservice to their content. I mean, can we get any more stereotypical with the busty broads, galaxy shots, and broadswords? Don’t answer that. Although the fantasy genre does seem to be making a greater effort lately—Have you seen the cover of The Golem and the Jinni? Total eyegasm.

The point is this, step outside your literary box. Jump the tracks to the not-so-literary side and you might surprise yourself with how many crossover novels you find. Exploration of character isn’t limited to 19th century Russia. Sometimes it’s found in a place outside of time and space, and sometimes it’s found on the moors of Scotland. And if you happen to get lost in another world, is that really so bad?

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