I’ve always wondered why we put books into genres. The word comes from Latin, meaning “kind” or “sort”. In my opinion, books, like people shouldn’t be labeled. For example, if people were books, a flirtatious woman would be romance, a typical teenager would be young adult, and a detective would obviously be a mystery. I feel like books shouldn’t be given labels. Some books don’t even fit into their defined genres. No novel is like the other and a genre shouldn’t define them. I do understand that humans function by putting things into categories and it’s safe to say that my life is as categorized as much as I can make it. Categories are how we organize information and make it easier to understand. However, with all of the new books being written and published, it’s becoming increasingly harder to categorize them into a genre. Take Hunger Games for example. Wikipedia classifies it as adventure, dystopian, science fiction, and action. Personally, I would’ve just called it a young adult novel. This is just one representation of how genres can be confusing or misleading. I’m not a fan of science fiction so if someone told me that Hunger Games was a science fiction novel, I probably wouldn’t read it. However, it has become a massive fandom and I have read them and enjoyed them, but I don’t consider it to be science fiction. The categorization of books also makes me wonder what authors who write these books think about genres. Do the authors set out to write a certain genre? If they don’t, do they agree with the genres that have been placed on their books? This may not be the most persuasive argument but it was just something that was on my mind. What do you think about genres?
I have always been an avid reader. From the time I first started to read, I devoured every little word I could find. Reading for me hasn’t really been about getting away and getting sucked into a story; it’s more like a competition with myself to see how much I can do and how I can do it in the least amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story that leaves me breathless in the end. But I have never gotten really into a story to the point where I lost all track of time and inhibitions. Some of you out there are like that, and that’s great! I envy you. I also have horrible reading comprehension. Ask me about a book that I read two weeks ago and I will be at a loss for words. I have a great memory for numbers or random things like what side of a page a quote was on. I really only remember my favorite books. I had been alright with this little glitch in my memory until recently. That’s what I like about having this blog, I can look back on it someday on all the great books I read. I’ve tried ways to improve my lack of comprehension by reading slower (I am a notorious speed-reader) and lately I have been thinking about having a notebook that I use specifically for when I read. I could write down important points, quotes, factual information, or questions I have. I feel that when I’m old this would be a sort of diary for me-to look back and see what I was interested in at the time and how I have changed over the years. When I read, I have a system. First I choose a book from my seemingly endless list. Then I read it. Usually, especially if it’s a classic, I will get very confused and have no idea what it is talking about. This really bothers me so I go back and reread parts that I don’t understand. This is time-consuming and frustrating to me. After I read the book, and if I’m still confused, I read the synopsis of the book on Wikipedia. Some may think this is completely wrong and that I’ve cheated myself out of the experience of reading. I think its more enriching because it is a complete description of the novel in layman’s terms. I can remember parts of the book that were not so easy to understand and connect them to what I read on Wikipedia, making the book much less complicated. Also, if available, I watch the movie adaptation to the book. This is sometimes difficult because of schoolwork and my job that take up most of my schedule. But when I have a free chance, I try to find a movie on YouTube or Netflix. Seeing a novel acted out puts my mind completely at ease because I am such a visual learner. This is also the reason why I don’t listen to audiobooks but I’m thinking of trying it sometime soon. Tons of books have been turned into movies so it is not too hard to find a match. However, I solemnly vow to never watch the movie before I read the book.
How do you remember something you read? Do you have a system like I do or do you just wing it? Please please please comment! I would like to know so I can further improve my comprehension and learn some things from all of you! Happy reading.