Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Trigger Warnings

Blog Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .

Our previous discussion—about social media and search—ended on September 10th due to a lack of comments; but, it did have a five post run. Reading Challenges


In this post I’ll try to stir up interest in certain kinds of reading that can be considered “Challenging“—I probably won’t mention them all; but, that’s what comments are for :-)

First, any “categories” of Challenge I may bring up can be negative to some and positive to others.

Obviously, some reading could be challenging due to the content of the book—if fiction, story elements—if non-fiction, topics presented.

Content challenges usually aren’t a surprise—something will pop up during one’s considerations to indicate the challenge(s)—“Oh, my, that cover looks way too sexual for me…“.

Some of you might like an article about “trigger warnings“—alerting the reader that a book contains “potentially distressing material”.

Another type of Challenge might be the reading “level”…

This challenge is much discussed in the arena of “children’s” books.

It’s usually not a challenge for an adult to read a “children’s” book, unless they do it in an environment containing judgemental humans…

And, when you look at the opinions about the “proper” ages to read various “children’s” books, some of those same judgemental humans attempt to exert their influence…

It seems certain people are trying to “protect” children from reading “above” their “level”—“Oh, my, that might make them stop reading forever!“…

There are also folks who cringe when they discover a child is reading “below” their “level”—“Oh, my, that might make them read children’s books when they’re adults!“…

Another reading challenge to consider is the “writing-style” of the author.

I’m using “writing-style” to embrace many individual reading challenges—word choices, grammatical constructions, dialect, syntax decisions, etc..

One particular example of “writing-style” challenge I’m most familiar with is that of my favorite fiction author, C. J. Cherryh.

Here’s one description of the challenge of Cherryh’s writing from Tim Eagen:

“Her style mirrors human thought processes, without the artificial fluidity of the ‘stream of consciousness’ constructions. Short, choppy sentences. Reflective clauses. Or prepositional phrases, with emotional freighting. Like that. For this reason, Cherryh’s work can sometimes be difficult; however, when you’ve taken the trouble to follow the thoughts and the feelings, the effect is quite profound.”

I might add that Cherryh can also challenge with her word choices and syntax decisions—she writes in a wide variety of “story environments”—ancient, fantasy, scientific, modern (sometimes combining two of those…)—each demanding various potentially challenging “reading environments”.

However, even Cherryh’s most ardent fans will comment that she remains a challenge; but, one always worth working through…

A final type of challenge I’ll mention is reading in another language…

What are some of Your reading challenges…?

What are some challenges you enjoy dealing with…?

What are some challenges that drive you crazy…?

How about reading challenges your friends or acquaintances reveal…?

Perhaps you’ll share challenges you used to have but have overcome…?

Reminderit only takes one comment to keep this discussion going………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs

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