Monday, December 13, 2010

Why I Believe In Reading Multiple Genres

Imagine that you love pastries. Flaky crusts, decadent chocolate, tart fruit fillings--these are what you see when you go to your happy place.

All you want is to be a pastry chef.

When you see your name in print, it's going to be on the front of a place like this:


But what if, in your earnest desire to be the best pastry chef ever, all you ate was pastry?


Maybe sweets aren't your thing?

How about this?


What smells better than fresh-baked bread? Soft, warm--the crust with just the perfect amount of give. How butter melts across the perfectly aerated surface...

But what if bread was all that you ate?

Don't like bread? Who can resist this?


Cheese. Smoked, baked, hard, sharp, soft, white, gold, rolled, crusted--you name it, I want it.
But my god, could you imagine living only on cheese? You'd probably be lactose intolerant within the week.

So besides the opportunity to share mouth-watering pictures with you, what's my point?

I'm sure you get it by now.

Genre is literary food.

In order to live a healthy life, we need a well-balanced diet.
Wait--but what about the pastry chef--the one who wants nothing more than to be the best pastry chef in the world? Shouldn't s/he see what the competition is cooking? Taste every kind of chocolate that comes across the plate? 

Sure. Absolutely, in fact. 

But what's one of the most important things a truly brilliant chef posses? 

A mature, broad palette. 


After all, if bacon was always put with eggs, how would this have been born?





To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.  
~W. Somerset Maugham



24 comments:

DEZMOND said...

I'm hungry right now!

Jessica Lemmon said...

You're speaking my language. FOOD. And, yes, I agree, variety is indeed, the spice of life!

Meika said...

Great post. Now I'm starving! Mmm...bread...and cheese...and pastry...and bacon...

Linda G. said...

Great post!

I may write "popcorn" (light, funny, escapist stuff), but that doesn't mean I don't like to gorge on other genres when I'm reading.

Tracy said...

Genres are a lot like baking/cooking. There may be specific tastes, but a lot of the ingredients are the same! ;o)

Liza said...

Fantatic! What a great way to bring a point home. Um, and as I go to work today at the cheese/gourmet food shop...I may have to share your pictures!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Hmmm. Wonder why I'm suddenly very hungry.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Dammit! Now i'm starving for some delicious breakfast!
One good thing about reading so many blogs, is that when those bloggers publish a book, i typically read it regardless of genre. It expands my horizons a bit

Hannah Kincade said...

Seriously that was just mean. Now I'm hungry.

I don't think I've ever read only one genre. I pride myself in my broad reading pallate. It's one of the things I've always liked about myself. With movies, music, and books, I've always been versatile and open. My collection of all is quite eclectic. :D

p.s.

any post featuring food becomes an instant fave. Also, I love that sonnet pic and might have to steal it and giggle.

Meredith said...

Like everyone else, I'm totally hungry now! Love the analogy :)

Lola Sharp said...

I'm a literary omnivore. Same with my musical tastes and food, and reading and even writing.

I hate to be limited. The old worn cliche: Variety is the spice of life, is truth.

Happy Monday!

Lola Sharp said...

Hannah, she stole it from me...seems only fair. :)

DL Hammons said...

Damn! You really need to put a disclaimer in your titles that warn those of us on diets, or eaten just a breakfast bar so far today, what we're about to see. Now my stomach won't shut-up!!

Old Kitty said...

And just before my christmas meal - seriously - I'm at work ready for our annual work christmas meal. Pizza!!

A great post - lovely! Variety is most definitely the spice of life!! Take care
x

Tara said...

I'm so hungry!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Excellent advice, Summer!
And now all I want is bread...

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Okay, but can I leave out the vegetables? What is the literary equivalent of vegetables?

Talli Roland said...

All that wonderful food! How can I concentrate?

Very well put! :)

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Well since you put it like that...
*goes to make a book sammich*

Abby Minard said...

Good comparisons! While I'll mainly read YA fantasy, I've dabbled in other genres as well. But I always go back to good 'ol classic YA fantasy. Like a favorite food I just have to have at least once a week.

Jessica Hill said...

Great analogy!

I'm definitely all over the place with my reading. I don't think I could stand to read the same genre and nothing else all the time.

And now, I must go find me a snack. ;)

Catherine Stine said...

Good pix!!!
Yes, I totally agree with you. I read everything and anything--literary fiction, teen fiction, non-fiction, poetry--including rags like the Enquirer, for a good laugh.

Genie of the Shell said...

Yes!!! I am in full agreement with everything you said here, especially the joy of the Mo's Bacon Bar at the end there. I was skeptical until I got pregnant and tried a free sample. Mmmm.

Also, a late congratulations to you and all other NaNoWriMo winners! I gave you a shoutout at The Magic Nutshell.

http://magicnutshell.blogspot.com/

yokohamamama said...

Well put--I read anything and everything, too. As long as it's well written.

"What is the literary equivalent of vegetables?" --ooohh, good question! Summer--you should do a follow up post with that question! I'd love to hear what everybody thinks is the literary equivalent of vegetables! (Milton? James Fenimore Cooper? Hmmmm....now I won't be able to sleep, *and* I'm hungry! ;-))