Thursday Thoughts - Discussion about books

Thursday Thoughts is a weekly feature on Ashley’s Blog Ok, Let’s Read. Each thursday, Ashley would open a discussion related to reading. This week, the topic is “book taste”.

“Currently, do you feel like you have a set genre or type of book that is your go-to and people know as “your genre?” Is there a genre that you’ve always loved or been drawn to in particular? Have you noticed your taste in books changing over time? Is there a genre or type of book that you used to love, but no longer read/enjoy? If so, what genre and why do you think that is?”

Feel free to join and/or check other people’s opinion on Ashley’s post!

In all domains I have eclectic tastes but with books, at least, I have a strong favourite: Science-Fiction. As a child, I fell into Science-Fiction the same way Obelix fell into the magic potion. There was nothing else to fall into: our home was filled with Sci-Fi books and there is no way you can keep a kid’s hands away from colourful shelves. Sci-Fi novels aren’t always the kind you can give to a 7 years-old but my father had a brilliant idea: he gave me short novels to read. They were most of the time American hard sci-fi, inventive and funny. I spotted my first favourite authors that way. I was caught.

Later, school made me love classics and in my teenage years, I was really into 19th century French literature: I was in love with Emile Zola (I read 15 of his books, not counting short novels), Balzac, Maupassant’ short novels, the Goncourt, Théophile Gautier, and so many more. I think I was fascinated about how people lived in the past, what they were worried about, what made them happy and sad, and how much we were actually the same people, a hundred years later.

It’s school also who made me love ancient literature, for I was studying latin and ancient greek. I discovered Virgil, Seneca, Ovid (seriously, Ovid is a rock star), Homer, Plato and I absolutely loved it. I mean you need to read some greco-roman mythology at some point in your life or you won’t ever know the true meaning of “epic”. Antiquity also provides wisdom in words accessible to all of us, contrary to later philosophy.

Speculative, classics, ancient literature… it seems all over the place. It’s not. “Genres” are just labels we put on books to easily sort our shelves. What I love above all is literature that makes me think, that talks about us humans, how we live and think. I love to learn and question things. It’s nice when a book is entertaining but it’s much better if it makes me grow as a person. And that’s not a genre.