Omnivoreads is based on the belief that all books have the potential to be great books. From popular contemporary fiction to the best poetry money can(‘t) buy, from social science to computer science, from a history of hot air ballooning to a novel narrated by a cat, I’ve read widely, openly, and lovingly. My willingness to give any genre, any series, any author a good, honest try has made me a better reader– and a more interesting person. I hope that Omnivoreads will inspire others to also reach for books beyond their comfort zone!
A Brief Q&A
What makes Omnivoreads different from other book blogs?
Omnivoreads doesn’t do reviews. I think there are enough good review sites out there, and I don’t have anything to add to that conversation.
My strength doesn’t lie in depth but in breadth. Many of my closest friends aren’t “bookish” people; they’re engineers, computer scientists, artists, doctors. I find their perspectives, so different from my own, fascinating, and I always want to learn more about what they’re doing and why. When I realized, in my second or third year of college, that there were so many more genres than fiction to read, I jumped at the chance to use my reading skills to understand more about the world. And I must not be alone– genres like “popular science” and “popular history” have exploded in the past 15 years.
I will, truly and honestly and terribly, read almost any book on any subject. And then I’ll figure out who might want to read it, who might benefit from it, and who might not even know that it exists! Those are the readers I write for: the ones who are willing to take a chance and try something new.
What do you teach?
When I was in graduate school (getting my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia), I fell in love with teaching college-level writing, both creative and rhetorical. I also enjoy working one-on-one with students: I’m a grammar, reading, and writing tutor for middle- and high-school students.
What’s your favorite book?
The Hobbit. It’s a snow-globe of a book: Tolkien’s whole world in a few hundred pages. If you haven’t read it, wait for a cold, rainy day, get some coffee/tea/your hot beverage of choice, and dive in.
I hate reading. What do I do?
I get this question from students sometimes, and I think it’s a great question: it implies that you see value in reading, since you want to start doing it. People, in my experience, usually don’t enjoy reading for a couple of reasons:
- They’re slow readers.
- They find books boring and get easily distracted.
- They associate books with school and required reading.
My recommendations are different for every reader, since everyone is unique, but here’s my general advice. Remember that no one is timing you, or judging you on how much or how “well” you read. Start with shorter works, like graphic novels, collections of short stories or essays, or novellas. Build up your stamina! Or, you know, don’t: dive right into giant fantasy series like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Do what you love and what you find yourself wanting to return to, not what you think you “should” be reading. You’re not in high school anymore (thank god). Or, if you are in high school: reading for fun is different than reading for school. It’s about you and your choices, not anyone else’s. And if you’re not sure what to pick up, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find me on Twitter! I’m happy to help.