Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Against the grain

I've always been just a little bit different than most people. Its not something that I consciously do, but my thinking is usually not in conformance with the majority. In high school, I embraced it, and proudly labeled myself as a "nonconformist". I liked being different (I don't think I was totally strange though) and took opportunities to prove how unlike most people that I was. I thought it made me "cool". Now that I'm an adult, I definitely don't try so hard to be different, but it still happens: my way of thinking rarely aligns with the majority.

It has become very apparent recently with the whole "Twilight frenzy", that seems especially crazy in the LDS community here in Utah (Stephanie Meyer, the author, is LDS). It feels like everyone and their daughter (and their dog) has read the books an average of 2.76 times, and haven't even cracked the cover. I haven't even through about buying the books. In fact, I have absolutely no interest in reading them.

I actually love to read too. In college, I majored in English for the first 3 years. I actually wanted to teach literature. (I changed my major after 3 years because I became disillusioned with the English department, but that is for another post). I'm a fast reader too, and as a kid, I'd check out stacks of books in the summer. Its pretty common for me to finish a novel that is hundreds of pages long in one day because I just can't put it down - although many times that meant staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Of course, back then, if I stayed up until 3am, I could sleep until noon. Now, no matter how late I stay up, I still get up by 7am (I have 2 cute little alarm clocks that make sure I don't oversleep). And honestly, that is the main reason that I don't read much right now. I simply don't have the time to devote. I have a long line of books right now that I'd love to read, and Twilight isn't even on the list.

But also, I have little interest in the subject matter of Twilight - the love story between a high school girl and a vampire. The vampire part sounds good, but I doubt I could get through the drippy, sappy love stuff. I'm not a big fan of the whole romance genre.

I am not saying this to put down anyone, or to say that I'm better than anyone who reads the books. In fact, I think its great that so many people love the Twilight series. I'm just not one of them. And just in case you're wondering, I've never read Harry Potter either.


tiburon said...

I didn't do HP either. But I do love me some Twilight.

The love stuff is nice. It made me realize how good I have it - and it reminded me of the magic you feel the first time you fell in love.

But I agree - it isn't for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - no desire to touch Twilight or Harry Potter. Sweet!

Koreena said...

It took me FOREVER to finally decide to read Twilight and well as HP. I hate doing "the popular thing." I had no interest in the subject matter of either, but I must say I ended up really enjoying myself. I'm not crazy over Twilight like most of the women I know, but I liked them enough to read ONCE. I absolutely loved HP on the other hand. But that's just me. :)

The Gatherum Family said...

I love your profile picture! So cute of you. I read TWILIGHT, all 3 of them, or was it 4? Anyways, I didn't get IT. They were okay, but nothing too great and I too LOVE to read...anyways, I like being different and I like that you are too. We STILL need to plan our blends dinner :) Have a happy, happy thanksgiving with your cute family.

Jan said...

I thought I was the only one. But I am glad to hear I am not. I really like to read about things that I can learn from. I haven't heard substance. But I guess I will never know. I love the whole hype though. It has been fun to see how much people can love a good story.

Heather said...

I'll just say ditto to Koreena's comment above - it took me a long time to follow the crowd and just read Twilight. But like Koreena, I enjoyed them, though I'll never read them again. And, Harry Potter is a TON of fun - love those books.

I think everyone thinks of themselves as non-conformist in some way. Most people want to consider themselves as mysterious or unreadable or independent thinkers. I can't think of anyone who would say that they want to do things just because others do all the time. Who knows. I guess it just depends on our surroundings and to what level (some are definitely more independent and different than others). Loved the picture at the beginning. Is that real or photoshopped? Either way, it's still a nice, meaningful image.

Erin said...

Finally! Other people who haven't read those books! I am really not interested at all in reading them or seeing the movies. I was really starting to feel like the only one!

Omgirl said...

I actually know a few people who LOVE to be just like everyone else. They aspire to keep up with the Joneses as much as possible. Trends? Bring em on.

As for the books, I've never read HP either. I liked the movies just fine, but I never had any desire to read the books. I also resisted Twilight for the longest time. But like one of your commenters, once I read it I actually liked it. I'm not a die-hard Twilight lover. But I liked the first and last book pretty well. Still, it's not literature by any means. It's mostly plot driven. But the plot is, hate to say it, very interesting.

Julia said...

Well I read Twilight to figure what the hell was going on with all these crazy people in love with this Edward moron and then the other ones who hearted Jacob. Hated! Hated! Waste of my time and life, luckily easy reads. The problem is now that I can't stop reading other peoples' thoughts about it...mostly other people that hated it. For awhile there I was obsessed with totally breaking down why I HATED Bella and how I never wanted my daughter (if I had one) to read that and think "here is a heroine I can identify with). The whole thing was sappy and sick and Meyer's sad little fantasy that never happened because she just wasn't that popular in HS.

Okay so I have some seriously issues with this. It just makes me mad that someone with such poor writing skills and a half stolen set of characters and plot (see the Sookie Stackhouse novels) is hailed as this amazing writer. Her writing is terrible, whomever edited the books should be fired and the publisher should be burned to the ground.

Hmmm...you wonder why I haven't posted on this topic. People would hate me. But sorry Twilighters, I just can't get into it.

I've started reading a lot more lately though. I go through a couple of books a week...it's been therapeutic for me to get back to what I've always loved. Yeah you get the bad books now and then, but ripped apart the characters is always a good time. Sorry for the novel post!

Lynita said...

Wow, I am actually shocked by how many people have not liked the books. I thought everyone loved them, people out here are fanatics! I read all four and enjoyed them, they were quick reads and for me a nice break from reality. Yes, I did go see the movie this last weekend with about 20 women from our ward ranging from age 50 on down. The movie was good, but the hundreds of teenage girls who screamed at every exciting part ruined the experience for me. I think when the next movie comes out I will simply wait a few weeks, after all I never was a swooning teenage girl!

Chelsea said...

I am the kind of person who will read anything, and I actually liked the Twilight books. Didn't love them, but liked them enough to read all 4. If you can get past how poorly it's written (sorry, but it is) the story is pretty good. The love stuff bothers me too, but I think I would have liked it as a teen (which is scary LOL).

I am a big Harry Potter fan though! I can read those multiple times and still love them. Totally different in quality IMO.

kari said...

Christie, you are NOT alone on this. I have several friends who aren't hooked on Twilight either. And I did read all 4 books just out of curiosity - to see what all the hype was about. Trust me, you didn't miss anything. YAWN.