Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vampire Books Suck

We've already established that I'm a reader.  Unless I've had too many glasses of wine, I am literally unable to fall asleep without a book.   I always have something to read wherever I go - soccer games, doctor's appointments, vacations...  Like my palate for food, my choice of reading material is open and broad, and I'll try just about anything once.  Fiction, nonfiction, memoir, short stories, whatever - I'll give it a shot. 

Just because I'll try any book that is placed in front of me, please don't assume that I will finish it.  In recent years, I've  developed the ability to abandon a book that isn't working for me.  It may still be a struggle (what if the book gets better on the very next page?), but when you work in a space filled with thousands of books, it is fairly easy to accept there is always another option. 

About 20 years ago, (okay, 23 years ago) I worked in a small, public library in Washingtonville, N.Y.  Other than a brief stint in sixth grade as a library helper, this was my first experience working in a library and I loved it.  Patrons were always making recommendations and, when I worked the circulation desk, I could easily discern which books were popular.  There was a series of books by Anne Rice called The Vampire Chronicles which circulated an awful lot.  Based upon this observation, I picked up the first book in the series, Interview with the Vampire, (maybe you've seen the movie?) and read it.  And hated it.  Thinking that all those folks couldn't possibly be wrong - I read the next title in the series, The Vampire Lestat.  And hated it.  At that point, I either found something else to read that I loved, or I went on a prolonged blood Mary binge, (I don't remember) and forgot about those awful (to me) books.  Flash forward to the 21st century and the Twilight Series...

I think Stephenie Meyer first came to my attention because I heard something on NPR about her receiving an unprecedented $750,000 advance payment for three books - as a first time novelist.  I read the first book, Twilight, and...wait for it...hated it.  Okay, maybe I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't love it either.  And that was that.  I haven't read another one.  I just don't get the appeal of vampires - or werewolves, for that matter, and I'm not interested.  Occasionally another book (recent ones: Liar by Justine Larbalestier or The Dark Divine by Bree Despain) combining romance and vampires/werewolves falls into my hands and I try to temporarily forget that I don't enjoy this fantasy sub-genre.  However, the truth is, if I'm suspending reality, it's more likely to involve something like how good I look in a new dress, or how immaculate my house is after I finish doing housecleaning chores without my glasses on.  When it comes to picking sides for Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, I'd much prefer to take my ball home and read something, almost anything, else.

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1 comment:

  1. I am sooo with you. I love to read but I've rarely been able to get into anything sci-fi/vampire/horror-ish but there have been a few notable exceptions. I *loved* The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I wouldn't say that it changed my mind on the genre but it's definitely an intelligent vampire novel. I could not put it down.