Thursday, June 11, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Reading Niches

This week's question:
There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

What niche books do YOU read?


I do a fair amount of niche reading, and am always interested in the unusual titles that other bloggers read. My niche reading tends to fall into three categories:

Doctor Who
When The X-Files went off the air in 2000, I didn't think I would ever love another show that much. I was proven wrong in 2007 when a friend told me, "You've got to watch the new Doctor Who series. It's fantastic and you will love it." I watched Series 1 and was absolutely hooked by the third episode, "The Unquiet Dead", where the Doctor and Rose travel back in time and encounter Charles Dickens. And, should anyone wonder: My overall favorite episode is "Blink", but I love all of the episodes that involve historical figures. (Especially "The Unicorn and the Wasp" from Series 4, which centers around Agatha Christie. They worked 18 Agatha Christie titles into the dialogue of the episode.) For Christmas 2007, I received several Doctor Who novels and have since accumulated quite a collection of Doctor Who books. I've reviewed a few of them on Bookish Ruth, and plan to eventually have reviews of all of them here.


Sherlock Holmes
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of Bookish Ruth, but I do a lot of Sherlock Holmes-related reading. I was 14 when I first read one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and have been fascinated by all things Sherlockian ever since. Again, a large percentage of my bookshelves are populated by Sherlock Holmes-related books.


Lighthouses
I read a lot of books about lighthouses earlier this year to help prepare an annotated bibliography of lighthouse books for children. This was a very fun and rewarding project for me. Many of my reviews have already been posted here, but I still have several that need to be properly formatted and published to the blog. (Pictured at the right is Cape Neddick Nubble Light. I took this picture on a trip to Maine in 2005.)

And, while I wouldn't really call them niches, I also read a lot of Victorian literature (both books that were written during the Victorian Era and books that are set in that time period) and I love just about any book with a plucky female heroine.

Do you have a reading niche?

21 comments:

  1. How exciting! I really like Dr. Who as well. I hadn't known that about the Agatha Christie episode. Now I want to go watch it again. :-)

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  2. I also love the new Doctor Who but haven't read any Who books for some reason. And my husband was annoyed beyond belief as we watched the Agatha episode and I kept shouting out "that's a title! there's another one!"

    I read a lot of books about primates. I used to want to be a primatologist. I gave that up a while back but kept reading the books. I have quite a collection!

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  3. I have three good friends who also read Doctor Who books! They have in fact asked me to get the books and bring them back home for them. I've only watched a couple of episodes myself, I'm not really sure why.

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  4. That's good to know about Dr. Who because I never went back after Tom Baker left it, but I sure did love watching it back then. I'll have to check out the new series.

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  5. I haven't read any Doctor Who books yet, but I agree with all your episode picks! I don't think I've ever screamed so much as I did during "Blink," and "The Unicorn and the Wasp" delighted me no end. I'm a big Agatha Christie fan, and I had so much fun spotting the titles.

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  6. "Whatever you do, don't look away, and don't blink!" Love that episode. What did you think about the latest special, "Planet of the Dead"? It was so cool. I haven't gotten into the books, although I'd like to. I've enjoyed your reviews of them. I don't know that I can pick a favorite episode though...

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  7. I could have practically written this post for you!

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  8. I never thought of Sherlock Holmes being a niche!

    Booking through niche

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  9. LiteraryFeline: Oh, I think you would love the Agatha Christie episode. There's also a two-part story that takes place on a planet called The Library. The entire planet is one great big library! I loved the concept of that.

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  10. I love lighthouses!

    Happy blogoversary!

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  11. Ruth! Please check out the Mystery Read-A-Thon blog. You won a prize, congrats! :-)

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  12. The new Dr. Who series sounds very interesting. I will snap some lighthouse pics for you when I'm in Nova Scotia next month!

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  13. As a long-time "Doctor Who" fan, I welcome you to the club. :)

    As a fan for going on 30 years, I will admit I find the current crop of Who books to be just OK. But I have to remind myself I am not the target audience for them. I have listened to a few on audio CD and pickedu p the Eyeless because it's by one of my favorite Who novel writers.

    Back in the 90s, we had the New Adventures and the Missing Adventures range, both of which I loved. I wish I'd kept more of them now, but alas, they're gone. They're had to find now and some of them sell for a ton on E-bay. they're more adult in their tone and you can find free e-books of some of the more popular ones on the BBC's Dr Who web site.

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  14. Unfortunately, I've never the Dr Who books...but now I will definitely look them up.

    But I am a "Sherlockian", in fact I love mysteries, Kinsey Millhone, Precious Ramotswe and Lord Peter Wimsey being my other favorites.
    I also love Jean M Auel's books set in Prehistoric times and I love the Jeeves books.
    Can't live without Jeeves.

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  15. Hi Ruth, I enjoyed reading about your niche choices! I have to say that I always enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes books more than the Agatha Christie titles ... Penelope

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  16. Ruth, I Forgot to mention that Michael Chabon's book, Maps & Legends, includes some interesting facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you haven't read the Chabon book yet, you might give it a whirl. Chabon grew up loving Sherlock. Penelope

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  17. I like to read travel memoirs though I haven't read any recently, I do BUY a lot of them!

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  18. I guess I like to read books about Herbs, growing, eating, cooking, drying and using them.

    Thanks for sharing your Niche choices.

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  19. My husband is a Doctor Who maniac. You should talk to him about that that!

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  20. I do have a new niche for you, Bookish Ruth: Tragicomical historical novels from Denmark!!! I bet you don't have too many of those books lying around ...do you? :-)

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  21. I love to read novels that are either set in Atlantic Canada or have that geographical connection, or that are written by Atlantic Canadian authots.

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