A little survey for book readers

+1 for detective/mystery stories!

Although I am picky - I won’t read just any old mystery book off the shelf. Generally I read through a whole series, and then mope around until I can find another series/author that suits me. When I was a kid I loved Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children, Sherlock Holmes, etc; then went off on a sci-fi kick during my teen years; returned to detective stories and read through all Agatha Christie. A friend gave me the first book in Laurie King’s Russell/Holmes series, and that’s the series I’m in the middle of right now.

Physical book: For me, staring at a screen just gives a totally different vibe to the activity, so if I am in the mood to read a book, I’m in the mood to read a physical book. Maybe the e-readers that are small and have a less glaring screen would be ok, but I don’t have one, so :woman_shrugging:

Re-reading: Almost always never. Maybe because of the genre I typically read, but unless I’ve fallen in love with a character or the writing is extraordinarily good, I feel like rereading is boring because I already know what’s going to happen.


I think the only book I read in school that I really liked was Krabat. It’s based on Sorbian folk tales, and quite good (from what I remember).


Don’t know if this has already been mentioned, but you’re missing some huge categories in your list of genres. I read a lot of non-fiction (religion, history, travel) and quite a bit of historical fiction, but they are not on your list.

Although, actually, for the past two years, since I’ve started studying Japanese, the amount I read in English has dwindled down to almost nothing. All my life, since I was a toddler, I’ve been a bookworm (I was one of those kids that walked to school reading, and it never stopped) but I made the decision to switch my reading to Japanese (and it is, to be honest, the only part of Japanese that really interests me).

Partly this was inspired by my wife. She totally stopped reading any Japanese when she took up English and I’ve never seen her read any Japanese, only English novels. My aim is to do the same, but in reverse of course! Though sometimes, I just can’t help it, and I simply MUST read a book in English, especially if I see a good one in the library!


Yeah I realized it but I can’t change the poll anymore. It was impossible to have them in one pole to begin with but i’m glad you wrote it.

I’m not in agreement with just reading books in one language thought. I’m more a fan or reading in the original language(Or the cheapest one).

I have read some Agatha Christie and saw two sherlock holmes movie. I like detective book too but I watched more detective serie than book. I was reading a lot of book than after secondary school/middle school I stopped reading. After starting Japanese I restarted reading books. Now I just can’t stop buying them ha ha.

Is that a German book? I wonder if I could use it to study German. It’s seems like a nice book what genre is it?


It is originally written in German (and doesn’t seem to be particularly well known outside of there). Genre-wise, I guess you could call it fantasy? Like I mentioned, it’s based on Sorbian folktales (the Sorbs are a group of people living mainly in eastern Germany and Poland). There’s black magic and the like, but it’s definitely not like modern high fantasy, more low-key.

You can also check out this, which is an album based on the story.


Actually, this had happened to me too, but I wasn’t happy about it because I realized that my Japanese wasn’t good enough for me to be able to read the same types of things. While reading in a language that I’m still learning is definitely a mental challenge, I think it stimulates a different part of the brain than reading about complex ideas in my native language does*, and so I was feeling like I was lacking something.

*I’m no brain science expert, this is just my opinion.

This looks interesting! I may have to check the local library…I wonder if it would be a good read-aloud for the family…

I would say what the best book I had to read in school was, but there were so many! One year, my high school teacher gave me an old copy of Hamlet after she saw me frantically copying down quotes before we had to hand our books back in :sweat_smile:

Probably the best class (outside my major, besides Japanese) that I took in college was “20th Century Russian Literature”; we read a ton of really great novels, short stories, and poetry :smiley:

Oh yeah, I would vote for this too! Although, does it really count as its own genre??


I like to think that is does. I never read regular fiction, unless it’s a classic.


Out of curiosity, when would you say that something becomes a classic?
Is something like Lord of the Rings, or anything by Issac Asimov (say, Foundation), a classic at this point?


Um, clearly it’s whether or not it’s been published in the Penguin Classics range, the gods and arbiters of all things classic.


That is an interesting question, and I don’t really have a good answer. For me it’s when they continue to be read and talked about throughout the years. I usually divide them into three categories. Proper classics, which are actually old, such as Alexandre Dumas’ works. Regular classics, which are maybe 100-50 years old, or thereabouts, such as Kafka, or LOTR, or Narnia. And modern classics, which I guess Harry Potter would fall into.


I find it a convenient classification for helping me identify potentially good books. But my point is that most (all?) “classics” also fall into one of the “regular” genres, so maybe it’s more like a sub-category of each (some?) of the regular genres?


I assumed you guys were saying you were reading Shakespeare or something. :sweat_smile:


I understand that point of view, but I think that classics are books that anyone could enjoy, and as such like to think of it as a genre of its own. I think that most people could read The Count Of Monte Cristo or The War Of The Worlds or Lord Of The Rings and enjoy them


There are only two broad genres of literature: comedy (happy ending) and tragedy (sad ending) (from a classical perspective of course, regardless of modern vernacular).


I wonder when cliffhangers were invented


Probably in the 1800’s, when serialized novels started getting big in Britain.

According to the wikipedia article about it

“Cliffhangers were used as literary devices in several works of the medieval era.”, so probably not.


I got bored after like 5 pages the one time I tried. And everyone I’ve mentioned that to wasn’t surprised, so I think it’s a common opinion at least that it’s a slow book. But based on your definition, can it be considered a classic then?


I mean, it wouldn’t exclude Shakespeare :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(but, no, that’s not typically what I choose to read for fun :sweat_smile:)


I’m not so sure about that, personally. I had to read Kafka in high school and i did not particularly like his writing.
Still better than Heinrich von Kleist, but i wouldn’t voluntarily read it.

Or to rephrase, there is nothing with general appeal, classic or otherwise.