Sunday, February 21, 2010

J FIC, It Isn't Just For Js

I just finished reading The Looking Glass War by Frank Beddor. I read all 358 pages in a few sittings yesterday. Now, I don’t usually read an entire book in just one day. In fact, I characterize myself as a slow reader. Not a plodder but more of a slow and steady kind of reader. A snowshoer type of reader. I move along at a steady place and enjoy the view along the way. I don’t skim. If I do find myself skimming I usually drop the read. But this book grabbed me by the collar, dragged me over to the couch and didn’t let go of me until I let go of it.

If you are unfamiliar with the series you might want to check it out. Here are the qualifiers: There is plenty of swordplay with various descriptions of blood and guts being sloshed about the room with two despicable main characters doing terrible things. And if you don’t like the mixing of the real world and historical figures with a magical alternative universe and passageways between the two, you should let this one go.

One more thing: the book is cataloged as J FIC. Yep, that’s right juvenile fiction. Since I was once a juvenile type person I find no problem with reading this type of work. Like many people who frequent libraries I remember enjoying reading as a young person. When I walked through the doors of my public library all of a sudden many worlds were opened to me. Not just the plain, old boring one of home, school and being told what to do by adults. So I am no stranger to J FIC.

And it would seem that I am not alone. Many adults like to troll through the J FIC collection every now and then. Both the Harry Potter and the Twilight series are cataloged as J FIC. And it’s not just kids requesting these works. So why would an adult want to read Juvenal Fiction? Here are the three most common answers: 1) I want to know what my children are reading, 2) I want to know why this book is so popular among younger people, 3) My child said this is a good book.

All of these are fine answers for checking out a work cataloged as J FIC. Here is one more: I think the reader brings whoever they are to whatever they read. It doesn’t matter if either you or the work is categorized as juvenile or adult. If the author has written a story that you’re able to connect with then she/he has done their part. The rest is up to you.

If you’ve read some J FIC that you’d like to share, be sure to add a post.

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