BTT: Inspiration

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

There really isn’t one main thing that inspires my reading and to really, fully answer this question I would almost need to go back and analyze everything I read last year to see WHY I read each thing, but here are some of the main points:

  • What I am interested in: I read a ton of historical fiction.  I don’t read necessarily read it because I love the genre (although I do love the genre, and there are some GREAT authors of historical fiction out there), I read it because I can enjoy a good narrative story and learn at the same time.  I will often seek out historical fiction by a variety of different authors about the exact same time period, place, and even person (or related places/people/etc.) in order to ‘read around’ the subject and discover much of the truth of that event or that person’s life.  I generally start with time periods/people in which I’m already interested and sort of branch out from there (moving from Tudor history to Plantagenet history, from 15th and 16th century England to other parts of Europe and the middle east, etc.).  Often what I read in historical fiction prompts me to want to read more, which leads us to the next category…
  • What I’ve already read: All of my historical fiction reading of England has led me to explore some non-fiction works on different aspects of British history, including a book on all the queens of England.  Also, if I’ve particularly enjoyed a book by an author, I will tend to seek out their other work, even if it is on a different topic or in a different genre than the work I previously enjoyed.  I also may be inspired to read more on a topic, even by another author, by an interesting book.
  • Happenings in the world/my life: I wouldn’t be reading pregnancy books if I weren’t pregnant, and I wouldn’t have read “Dreams From My Father” when I did if I hadn’t been moving to Chicago and known Barack was my Senator (I probably still would have read it when he ran for President, though).  Other events in the world can also prompt me to get a book on that or a related subject.
  • What I see/hear: LibraryThing is a ridiculously fantastic source of recommendations, as are some of my friends who have similar tastes to my own, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, NPR, and of course book blogs.  I also have a huge tendency to just pick up whatever looks interesting at a bookstore, at a library sale, or on Amazon.  I have also done quite a bit of requesting books that look interesting from authors and publishers of late, leading us into the final category.
  • What I receive: Nearly everything that is sent to me for review is something I either requested or agreed to take, which means it is something I at least thought I would be interested in.  I feel an obligation to read these books in as timely a manner as possible and get them reviewed, although lately I’ve also felt an obligation to myself to make every second or third book something that I am reading simply because it struck my fancy and not because I ‘have to’.

What inspires your reading?

10 comments to BTT: Inspiration

  • I have never heard of LibraryThing before. Now I’m going to have to go check it out! Thanks! :)

  • I’m am right there with you on the historical fiction. I love the genre but I also love learning about the time period through fiction and it makes me want to know more. Great answers!

  • Wow, your answer is way more thorough than mine.

  • What a great response! This is such a complex question because it could be interpreted from many standpoints.

    I love it when books inspire me to want to learn more about a subject, whether that be just for general information or perhaps to want to read more books on that particular subject.

  • A good book will helps, but there is my craving and mood.

    Reading choices are always like double-edged sword. I want to be part of others’ reading context but my whim sometimes just won’t allow it.

    In short, what inspires me is my own volition and whim.

  • Congrats on the pregancy! Happy Thursday!

  • Your post was fantastic!! I found myself doing the exact same thing in regards to Tudor history and the 15th and 16th century England which then in turn lead me to read several biographies on Elizabeth I. I could relate to everything you said.

  • Book Lover

    Google is currently getting into Historical Fiction Sites and is listing books via New Historical Fiction Books

  • Daisy Whitney

    This is a fun question and an interesting sort of reversal on inspiration. I have to admit I definitely have been inspired by covers, by jackets, by first pages to buy books. I think my reading choices are ultimately inspired by the Web though and finding books others recommend. I also LOVE the recommended feature on Amazon and have been inspired to check out a lot of books that way. It’s kind of wild how Amazon can really get to know your likes!

  • This was a hard question, but you answered it well!