What Kind of Reader Are You?

By Janice McCaffrey

In Janet Skeslien Charles’ The Paris Library, Odile the main character interviews staff and patrons with the question, “What kind of reader are you?”

Pondering the question, I took the time to examine my reading habits. Here’s my answer. I either read furiously or not at all. My favorite genre is historical novels, but a good mystery helps keep my brain figuring out the puzzles of ‘who done it.’

My book club has expanded my horizons and introduced me to many other cultures that I otherwise would have missed. For example, The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett, A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles, and Dot Jackson’s Refuge.

This summer I enjoyed Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell. I identified with the discomfort and inconveniences while sympathizing with the characters’ personal and family problems.

My non-fiction favorite authors are Michael Lewis, The Big Short, Money Ball and When Bubbles Burst and Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, The Story of Success, and What the Dog Saw. And I almost always research the historical novels I’ve read to sift through the fiction for the facts.

Asking myself this question helped me get to know myself better.

How about you? What kind of reader are you?