Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reading a Book

Unlike most people I know, I rarely read fiction. While my dad can plow through 2 - 3 volumes of historical fiction per week, I can probably count all the books of fiction I've read in 51+ years on my fingers and toes! My reading tastes tend to be a tad bit odd -- rather natural for a quirky individual with AS.

In my teens, the only outright fiction I read -- other than To Kill a Mockingbird -- was what I was assigned in class. For my own amusement, I tended to read books about nature or real live people. The only exception to this rule was theatrical plays. I read almost every play written by Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and several others.

I can't tell you why, but I liked reading stuff that went like this:

Edward (crosses the room behind the faded sofa, speaks pensively): I think I've found it.
Mary (entering the room from stage left): Are you sure that's it?

In later years, I developed a liking for reference books. I can remember many a day browsing through an encyclopedia or almanac. To this day, I always keep a few reference-type books near my sleeping mat. I've been perusing one for the last several weeks that discusses the origins of words.

Over the past decade or so, the kind of book I most frequently read is philosophical, in nature. I have a rather large library of books written by Alan Watts plus Karl Marx. Light reading to be sure!!

Today, however, I picked up a book at the library that falls outside of my typical interests -- a book of fiction and, though I'm generally a plodding reader, I've raced through the first 150 pages already. The book is The Green Mile written by Stephen King.

Tonight I realized something really odd about the few books of fiction I have voluntarily read -- in almost every case, what spurs me to read the book is watching the movie derived from the book first. In the present case, I caught the last third of the film, The Green Mile, on cable recently and this is what piqued my interest.

This same pattern has been borne out in any other work of fiction I can think of. I read each of the following books only after falling in love with the movie first:
I'm sure I may have read one or two more, but that's all that comes to mind off the top of my head.

Like I indicated above, I think this is sort of weird, but I is what I is. :-)


  1. Although I love reading spiritual texts which can sometimes be akin to reference books and non-fiction for sure. I love science fiction and have read over fifty titles in the past five years. I highly recomend the book Dune by Frank Herbert, which was turned into a movie and in my opinion was very well done. Maybe check out the movie first and then get the book, as the theme is very complex. Of course rent both of them from the library. Science fiction can go beyond where normal fiction is cabable of going. And I also recomend to you my favorite book of 2008- Name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss the first in a trilogy that is destined to become a fantasy classic. May you live long and prosper.

  2. How about Arther Miller's "Death of a Salesman." There's a piece of red-blooded Americana to add to your list.

    Your mention of Tennessee Williams reminded me of DOS.

    Dune by Frank Herbert. Yes, read that. And how about Tolkien. And LeGuinn? Have you read "The Dispossessed"?

  3. Though I didn't list it, I have read DOS, at least, twice!

    Thanks to you both for the book recommendations. I may check them out some time -- or I may not. It's weird, but I only read fiction when the spirit moves me to. And it doesn't move me to very often. ;-)

  4. JK Rowling's Harry Potter series also comes highly recommended. Excellent story and moral message.


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