What Kind of Reader Are You?
So a little background. I’ve been an avid reader (meaning reading constantly and in my case various genres) since the age of 10. I LOVE books. As I got older it was so confusing to me to hear from friends in college and beyond that they didn’t read. Some didn’t read anything, others were extremely selective and rarely. I never had a need for reader groups as I enjoyed the books, then had thoughts about them in my head (if they were good enough to stay with me a few hours or a few days rattling around my skull). I was a part of an adult book club for about 7 or 8 years as well. I enjoyed that, and it made me read some books not on my radar and a chance for me to give my in-depth analysis of books.
However, once I became a writer I joined some reader groups and let’s say it was an eye opener! LOL from the “general disdain” for romance. To people perceptions of what is a Romance book (a lot of folks think it’s automatic erotic or automatic extreme drama) is. Seriously I was dismayed and depressed for a few days, then I got over it!
I had to remind myself that my audience is out there. People who understand what a Romantic Novel is, and those who appreciate it in all forms, be it sweet, steamy or yes even erotic. I have read many romances of all levels and ENJOYED them. From Westerns, Historical (various periods), Suspense, to small town, and Heros, to Blue Collar and everything in-between!
I say all this to circle back around to my opinion on the types of readers out there, regardless of what genre they read, and why I'm able to really enjoy pretty much all types of books (if written well)
1-The Trading Spaces Reader
So this is just as it sounds. A reader who trades places with one of the MC’s. They put themselves (mentally) in place of the MC (MC(s)=Main Characters).They read with the thought of “I would do that!” or “Yep I would have said the same thing!”. Now on the surface this sounds like a good thing. Here is how I see it possibly being a hindrance for a reader.
You can spend too much time thinking about “what you would do, say etc”. So you end up being mad, with the characters, or seeing them as unrealistic if they don’t fit your world view. I believe these types of readers prefer to stay in certain genres, because they “relate and understand” them better. And this can keep you from the wide array of stories that could be magical, or informative.
On the other side if an author writes a story that these kinds of readers “connect too” you usually have immediate fans! On the flip side you could end up with a person unwilling to even finish the book, or decide never to read another, not matter how good of a storyline you had.
Trading Spaces Readers like to take control of the story and steer the direction, even though every single brain, mind, personality and upbringing is different, which can up the chances of the reader being mildly to greatly disappointed.
2-The Body Snatcher Reader
Now the body snatcher is a little different. These people give themselves “over” to the main MC’s. They live the characters lives as is. They read the details (that a good author) should put into a book to show you the MC’s personalities, and the inner workings of their minds. So that when they make a decision, reaction etc, it makes complete sense for THAT character.
Body Snatcher readers are along for the ride, looking out onto the story from the MC’s eyes. Feeling what they feel, thinking from the MC’s point of view. I believe these readers are more open to learning new things, visiting new places and exploring the impossible.
Body Snatchers are more likely to appreciate (meaning find it decent or good) a book with a well written story line, even if it’s a subject matter they don’t know, like or agree with.
What kind of reader am I?
So for me I’m mainly a Body Snatcher, but can be a Trading Spaces reader as well. Like most folks I have my favorite genres even though I read almost anything.
If it’s self-help, memoirs, or non-fiction, I tend to put my own personality into it more, so I tend to enjoy those less. Usually however I can get a few good nuggets of info or perspectives out of it. Also I do love history, though I prefer it sprinkled in with fiction.
I am a Body Snatcher for (well written stories where the author show/tells me the personality of the people and the environment/situations are well set) fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi books. I love thinking things out of the ordinary. Going to made up worlds where the daily rules are different from ours. Love those fearsome or magical beings that walk amongst us.
And yes I have a dark side! Horror is my second fav reading genre and I love getting into a killers head, or their twisted upbringing that led them there. Thrillers with government or shadow societies controlling us and the conspiracy theorist heroes who were right all along. And last but never least in my book is Romance.
Where I can fully let myself be the damsel in distress, though I prefer the calculating minx. Or the stories of the over worked mom who deserves love too. I don’t have kids-but by being a Body Snatcher I can fully still enjoy these stories. The stories where I can be a Trading Spaces reader is nice too, when they talk about things that have been in my life or I could see happening to me in the here and now. Those wonderful men that break down the defenses of “been done wrong before” women to win their heart.
I love it ALL!
So in the end
There is never a right or wrong, if you are READING on a fairly regular basis then you are a winner in my book! And I do believe certain books/genres/ writing styles can make anyone be both types of readers.
Take Ten Seconds and fill out the survey and tell me what type of Reader YOU are!