off the beaten path

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm big into indie music. I just love it. And increasingly, turning to the pop station or hearing the latest Billboard Top 40 tracks pumped through the speakers at the bowling alley irritates me.

So then I look at the books I read, and I think, "Why not do the same thing?"

Yes, I very much enjoy some mainstream fiction and I understand that there are major differences between the music industry and the book industry, especially concerning fan bases and what people decide to purchase. But there are plenty of parallels I can draw between my choices musically and my choices with books.

Why not go off the beaten path every once in awhile and look at a book that no one else is reading? It's a crazy thought, and I know that you just HAVE to read the next vampire romance book, but why not just pick up something different and start reading it?

I did this a couple years ago for a book report in English class. I picked up a book--it was called Leaper--and I read the whole thing in a week (which is fast for me, I'm a slow reader). I found that just picking up a random, unpopular book led me to a great place. I found something great and fun and new.

Now, of course you can still read some mainstream fiction just as I like some mainstream music. I unashamedly love "Gives You Hell" by AAR, and also I love the Harry Potter series. But the point is not to abolish the mainstream. It's just to go a bit off the beaten path, to give yourself an individuality in what you read and the way you read it.

I think you'll find yourself a better person.

With all due respect,

Dawson "Author of Those Books Over There" Vosburg

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