Half a decade ago, I taught my husband to read. Well, not really. But his reaction since have been priceless.
I asked him to read my novel. He acted as my alpha reader, literally reading it as I wrote. It was to help me keep writing through my own insecurities, but then something happened.
My husband already knew how to read, but he struggled with it. He has dyslexia and had never read stuff that appealed to him enough to overcome that struggle.
Suddenly, he was reading better than before.
Once my novel was done, I recommended a few books that were similar in tone to what I’d written. To motivate him to actually read them, I asked him to read them aloud to me.
Interestingly, reading aloud was a great decision. It slowed him down and helped him think about the words more. Also, by reading to me, we often stopped to talk about what was going on in the book.
I also love to watch reaction videos on YouTube. It’s fun to see people hearing music or watching streaming shows (Buffy is a fav) that I’ve already seen. I love the anticipation of them encountering that one part that makes jaws drop.
The Next Generation
Sharing books and other media that I love is one of my favorite things to do with my kids, too. I’ve introduced them to the Indiana Jones franchise, and we’ve seen the entire MCU catalog.
Honestly, it’s been great talking about history and politics (hello, Nazi punching!), and mental illness (Iron Man III = PTSD) with the kids in ways they can really get their heads around. For me, that is the whole point of SFF and easy-access media formats. That’s why I love genre fiction, and why I refuse to get snobby over books vs movies, audio vs print, etc.
Do It For the Reaction
In the end, just seeing the joy/shock/tears in people’s reactions is a thing of beauty. It validates my own joy/shock/tears over that media. I feel less like I’m the only one who feels XYZ about this.
That’s the same reason we have fandoms, and the two are very much connected. After all, we share our fandoms with the hope that someone who we value will share this thing we value. It lets us bond in another way.