Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘YA books’

I recently decided that I’m a coward when it comes to reading. I’m not adventurous, or brave, or intrepid in any way at all. Instead, I often stick to the same genres, same authors, same series, etc. I am one of those people who read the same book over and over and over, but (to quote from You’ve Got Mail) do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?

In my book marketing class the other day, we were discussing the efficacy of book blurbs on the back cover…do we buy books based on the description? I answered yes, of course, but the truth is that I buy books based on whether I’ve heard of the author, read another book by that author or in that series, and whether I like the genre of that book.

I honestly don’t often venture into the Fiction section of the bookstore or the library. I stick to the areas I know: fantasy and science fiction, YA, cooking, mystery, etc. I like these sections, but I think it’s more because I am overwhelmed by the number of books and authors I don’t know in the fiction section. I’ve been reading the other books for so long that I’m familiar with many of them, and I feel comfortable there.

I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to venture forth from my tidy little hobbit hole of reading habits. One of my favorite things about the library is that I can bring a book home, read five pages, and then return the book if I dislike it. Part of it, I think, is that I started reading very young and read several books that I shouldn’t have read until I was older. I read The Color Purple, for example, when I was in fifth grade – way too young to be reading about the subjects covered in that book – and so now I have this fear of somehow reading something that will traumatize me.

Which is just silly for a grown woman. I read a fantasy book recently where the main character has a very vivid nightmare about being raped, and I stopped reading. Apparently I’m one of those people who cannot handle the harsh realities of literature. Fiction is too “real” for me.

But I’m going to try harder to venture out of my comfort zone, to try and read books by authors unknown on subjects as yet unexplored. I owe it to myself, and to the authors, and to the art of writing – books aren’t always meant to be cozy and happy. Sometimes we all need to read something unfamiliar and uncomfortable, and it’s those kinds of books that help us most to grow. I don’t remember a lot of the books I read in childhood, unless the plot disturbed me in some way, and I think I remember those books because they taught me something or made me think. Which isn’t a bad thing at all…so why have I been avoiding it?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I love YA and kid’s books, and so I’m always excited when a writer that I’ve grown up with is in Portland. I read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books when I was in like 3rd grade – the fact that I’m excited about his writing (I enjoyed Holes and plan to buy this new sequel) FIFTEEN years later just shows what a great writer Sachar is.

Official blurb:

Louis Sachar (Central Library, @1:00pm): The sequel to Holes, Louis Sachar’s National Book Award and Newbery Medal winning novel, is coming to the Oregon Children’s TheatreSmall Steps is the continuing story of life after Camp Green Lake. Upon his release from the camp, Armpit decides to improve his life — one small step at a time. Join us before the world premiere for a discussion with this engaging author and the play’s director to learn more about the fascinating book-to-stage adaptation process and the further adventures of the story’s funny and down-to-earth characters.

Read Full Post »

According to the AAP (the Association of American Publishers), book sales fell about 1.8% in 2009.

Here’s the breakdown of the report:

Sales went up in 2009 for the following:
Adult hardbound books
Paperbound books for children and juveniles
E-books
Higher education books

Sales went down in 2009 for the following:
Paperbound books
Hardbound books for children and juveniles
Mass market paperbacks
Mail order and book club sales
Audio books
Religious books
Elementary and high school books

Stayed about the same:
Trade sales of adult books
Trade sales of juvenile books

I would like to point out, before the pessimists take over, that the publishing industry, according to the AAP, still saw $23.9 billion in sales in 2009. And the economy hasn’t been great, so the fall of sales was actually pretty understandable. And e-book sales went up about 700%.

Read Full Post »