Thursday, 29 April 2010
God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.
What genre do you pick, and why?
*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that He is real.
I thought I'd do another Booking through Thursday since I was going to do a post yesterday about my reading challenges but Youtube had a hissy fit and my vlog wouldn't work (and it'd taken three attempts to get to that point anyway) so I just got fed up and left it.
Anyhow, if I had to pick just *ONE* genre of books to read for the rest of my life it would be a toss-up between Fantasy and Historical Fiction because with fantasy there is really no limit to the number of stories that authors could come up with as everyone's imagination is different and there's no hard-and-fast rules of what worlds could be created.
Historical Fiction is another vast genre because there's 5000 years of human history and with all the hundreds of countries there have been over this time you could write stories about people in any time period you liked from any part of the world for the rest of your life and never exhaust the wealth of history that exists. And in the case where certain details about historical events are not known for definite authors of Historical Fiction have the license to speculate on what they think, or would like to believe happened so there's the possibility for several versions of a story surrounding the same event - e.g. just look at how many stories there are set during the reign of King Henry VIII.
So I'm thinking that as much as I love the completely out-of-this-world escapism of reading Fantasy novels I also adore reading books where I get to travel back in time to places and eras that I would have loved to have seen first-hand (ok maybe not the plague eras - although I really enjoyed World without End I would *not* have liked to be wandering around Kingsbridge without protection from disease).
History has always fascinated me although I began to dislike my history A-Level classes when it became more about interpreting the different views of *why* a certain monarch did something (Louis XIV is now one of my most hated historical figures because of this) rather than the, admittedly childish desire to know about how people lived in past times. That's why I'm quite glad that I'm not studying History at university because I fear that all the discussion of ways to interpret history would have destroyed my love of the subject.
Therefore I think that if I had to read only one genre of books for the rest of my life I would choose Historical Fiction because although it's not 100% factually accurate; well-researched and thoughtfully written historical fiction can be infinitely more interesting and digestible than the gospel truth written by the driest, fustiest bunch of old historians you could cobble together from the best universities in the world.
See you in a past life