Saturday, October 02, 2004


Star Trek books

I recently just finished reading a Star Trek book. I used to plough my way through them and made a point of getting them out the library (although i caught up with what the library were getting in). They are easy reads and I have never treated them as anything else. I liked them because I enjoyed the extra stories about my favourite characters particularly after the show ended. Most of them (if not them all) I have come to realise are just fanfiction. Some of them even have what a lot of people call Mary Sue's. This printed form of fanfiction is surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) popular.

These books can be found in kids books too. The Mary-Kate and Ashley books are an example of this. When I was young we had Sweet Valley and then the point horror books as easy reads. My teacher didn't think that I was reading books appropriate to my level and so my dad came home with a huge pile of books. This was how I fell in love with Isaac Asimov. At the time I was grateful to my dad for the books but a little miffed at my teacher. She obviously had only seen me reading point horror but even then I was reading other things.

My point is that these days I have become a bit of a snob when it comes to reading. There are certain books I wouldn't touch simply because it is trash. An easy read without complex storylines or writing. Yes, I know a little hypocritical from someone who reads Star Trek books as a break. It almost seems as though I have turned into my teacher.

It got me thinking. Should we really look down our noses at people who read books we consider to be drivel? How do we know that this isn't just a quick read to them. And others who do read them regularly shouldn't we congratulate them just for reading? There are so many people out there who never pick up a book. So what if the ones who are reading mass market books have never picked up a classic. Sure, they are missing out on a lot but still they are reading.

It is the same with children. When I was tutoring it was difficult to get children to read. So few of them wanted to do it. When they did find something they enjoyed we encouraged them to continue. For children who didn't read it didn't matter that they weren't brilliantly written as long as they were reading.

I agree and feel the same way you do on many of the points. I see people reading drivel, and I scoff, considering (like you) I have read more meaty books, like Alastair Reynolds. "Why would they want to read that garbage?" But it is so true that many don't read. And the fact that someone uses their imagination enough to read A BOOK (no matter what) it is encouraging.

(I, too, have read some fan fiction. I am into the Star Wars books. But they too for me are easy reads.)

One thing that crossed my mind about this was watching the son of a friend of mine reading Harry Potter. I would not waste my time reading Harry Potter. But it was good to see a teenager reading it, and so enthralled by it that he would take the book with him anywhere he went, seizing every opportunity to read.
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