I am a reader. I read a lot. I devour paperbacks in a lazy weekend.
I don’t have a lot of time to wander through bookstores. I’m lucky if I get to snag any books, small child in tow, on my mad dash running errands. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if someone could just mail me a box of books each month?
I read fantasy, so that’s where we started. A Box filled with some new paperbacks, first in a series, worlds to sink into during those few unoccupied moments. Then my husband got involved. “I read too, you know,” he said. “But I don’t want to read fantasy. I prefer science fiction.” Thus, the different Boxes were born.
I realize that being a reader isn’t nearly enough to signify good taste, so let me tell you a little bit more about me. I am a writer, of course, but more importantly, I’ve been devouring what I call cheesy books since I was a kid. I called them cheese (or fluff) because in graduate school, I desperately needed to read some books that didn’t require a ton of thought or interpretation. After a long day writing essays about Beowulf in Old English, I just wanted to read something that was light and fun and not too demanding. Now, I have a PhD in English Literature, I teach composition and literature courses at a local community college, and after a day spent reading student essays, I find myself again in dire need of some good escapist literature. I’m not knocking it by calling it escapist! (Read Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories” to see what I mean. Sorry: teacher mode.)
My definition of good escapist fiction involves interesting and likable main characters, a plotline that moves forward, fun antagonists, a developed world, and clever dialogue. Granted, not all books have all of those things, but that’s my gauge.
Of course, I may as well convince you to prefer vanilla ice cream when you clearly like chocolate. Reading does always come down to a matter of taste.
I hope you find something in the Box that you enjoy sampling.
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