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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reducing My Dosage (For Now)

If you are a reader, what bias do you detect in your reading habits?

Except for boyhood experiences with Mark Twain & Jules Verne, I've always had significant difficulty with novels written prior to the mid-20th century. Since leaving the world of full time work, I've been on a mission to overcome this reading bias. And though I've met my goals for how many I'll finish each year, my level of enjoyment has yet to appreciably increase.

Partly because pre-1950 short stories have often appealed to me, I recently tried a new twist - sampling shorter novels, including ones not as widely touted or anthologized. Based on my positive reaction to both "Ward No. 6" (Anton Chekhov) & "Old Man" (William Faulkner), I plan to continue this new tactic for a while. I also welcome your recommendations, of any length.

In addition, I avoid reading about book awards. Though it dismays me admitting it, I'm just suggestible enough to let a positive bias sneak in if I know a book is a prizewinner. I much prefer not knowing and then being pleasantly surprised to learn later that a book that knocked me out has been lauded by the discerning readers who make up the panel of judges.

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