Friday, June 10, 2011

Outside Influences - Literary Hop

Literary Blog Hop
As always, the Literary Hop is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Blue Bookcase. They're awesome. You should check them out. 

What other outside influences affect your reading experience? Do you think these influences enhance or detract from the experience?

Okay, here's my thing with outside influences - I feel like everything is an influence. My knowledge of a period or place could draw me to a book, or a friend of blogger recommendation. Sometimes it's even movies and TV shows. After I saw The Princess and the Frog I went in search of books set in New Orleans in the 1920's, and after one of my many Tudor's marathons I picked up Phillipa Gregory for the first time.

Whatever you say, dear.   

Really, after I saw the Tudor's for the first time I tore through anything related to Henry VIII, Anne Boyle or any of his other wives. I had a problem. My friends were worried. They also didn't know who Henry was, which probably explains why they didn't want to hear about my rants. 

Which leads me to my largest outside influence - whatever my current obsession is. A few years ago I was crazy about Prague. In response I read pretty much everything Kundera wrote. I thought Monet was an interesting person for a hot minute and I read Claude & Camille after leaving his Wikipedia page up for three days. I go through months where I spend all my free time looking up information of a time period, a place, a person or theory, and this inevitably leads me to fiction based around the same thing.  What it comes down to is that I like books that continue my understanding of a certain subject. 

Overall I think these influences add to my reading experience. Usually they just leave me with welcome background knowledge that gives me a deeper understanding of my current book. Of course, if it's a book that is responsible for my current obsession it can become a bit distraction if I end up searching the internet for specific information, but mostly it's a welcome distraction. 

Well, I'm off to watch Castle and then to probably find a book about a writer shadowing his latest inspiration. Hope everyone has a good weekend!


LBC said...

I found your post really interesting because I've never been that kind of reader. I don't really read deeply in the sense of checking out all the books by one author or on a specific subject. I really respect that kind of reading.

parrish lantern said...

I agree that a current obsession can be a major influence, for example the following of a writers work & the works that influenced them, and the works that..... can lead you on an amazing journey, which enhances your reading experience.

Nicki J Markus said...

I am also sometimes influenced by things I see in the theatre or on TV. Seeing the film "Vigo:Passion for Life" made me get a biography of Jean Vigo and watch some of his films. The film "Passion" got me into Percy Grainger and "The Tudors" made me interested in Thomas Cromwell. I have since read "Wolf Hall" and a biography about him.
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