Saturday 7 August 2010

Like Father Like Daughter!

As I mentioned in my last post I have a new toy. No sooner had I got it than I found a library app which allows you to load all your books onto a catalogue. Fellow book geeks will understand wanting this. I got to sort the books into genre and watching each one grow was something else. This little process has taught me two things. First, I am a more well rounded reader than I though. I see myself these days as mainly reading contemporary fiction and YA. However, my crime books are growing and my non-fiction collection (aside from my craft books) isn't too bad.

The second realisation is more disturbing. I take after my dad! When I was younger I always assumed my dad was a reader. I could talk endlessly about childhood library trips and my dad trying to get me to read his favourite books. I won't though. Needless to say I always thought he was a reader. It wasn't until maybe only a few years back I discovered that he really started reading in his late teens. I think my mum may have influenced him there because as a child she would rather read a book than go out and play (in that sense I take after my mum).

Anyway, because of my growing book collection and the fact that I used to be a bookseller my dad started coming to me looking for specific books before going out to buy them himself (quite rightly if I had it he could just borrow it). Pretty soon he was reading "Artemis Fowl", "Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time" and "A Short History of Nearly Everything" to name a few. I couldn't follow what he was really interested in as he would jump so quickly between genres and he wouldn't always finish the book.

He then started reading classic sci fi. There were a few authors he was reading but the only one that springs to mind is Philip K. Dick. He also seemed to be sticking to it and I thought 'brilliant, I can buy him some books for Father's day'. I actually put a lot of thought into picking out these books. I spent ages after my shift one day going through the entire section trying to think what he would like. Eventually I narrowed it down to three. First of all I picked out "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson. It was a sci fi but with a lot of politics running through it. I thought my dad would appreciate that since he is into his politics. I then chose the "Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F. Hamilton as it's a good example of how good modern science fiction can be. Lastly I chose "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman because it's a classic and it's also one of my favourites. I was actually looking forward to hearing what he thought of all of them. It's been a few years since then and those books are still collecting dust on his shelves. He had moved on to Robert Lewis Stevenson.

Back to the main point. I was going through all my books and pulling out a few I hadn't looked at in years. They brought back happy memories. All those hours spent reading Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Donaldson, Stephen King and Anne McCaffrey. If I tried I could pin point the year I read them and what was going on in my life when I read them. I can't remember now when I last picked up a classic sci fi or any sci fi for that matter. The same goes with fantasy. My catalogue is filled with fantasy and yet I rarely read it now. Horror is another genre, unless you count the supernatural romance popular now, that I once couldn't put down but rarely touch.

It was then I realised I am like my dad and that I don't really specialise in a genre. Instead I move on once I've discovered something new. Last year I read mainly teen books. This year they have been almost replaced with crime. I still read a wide range of books but like my dad my focus changes although maybe not quite as quickly as his.

Oh, and in case you are interested, he is reading free books from iBooks. Once his iPad novelty has worn off I'm sure he'll move on to something else.

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