Recently, I’ve finished the Frontlines series after more than a year of reading. Sometimes a book or two a week, sometimes a book or two a quarter. Quite a good series in its genre. After eight volumes, it does rather make me think about how my reading habits have changed in the last few years.

Somewhere over the years, I’ve started to divide my taste in reading into two different groups: light reading and heavy reading. Light reading is often serialized, less deep and more to the point. Good examples abound among Japanese light novels (thus, my choice of noun, lol) and the more “Pulp” like spectrum of science fiction and fantasy. Something you can sit down, read, enjoy, and not have to spend a lot of brains on to avoid distraction. Heavy reading tends to be more in depth and long form, things that reward interests in world building and greater detail up to the point that focused reading is necessary for enjoyment. Good examples are epics like Lord of the Rings and Shogun, things that aren’t short reads and benefit from focused reading where you can really enjoy them.

Oddly, I think Frontlines fits neither of these taxonomy. Terms of Enlistment and some of the other entries in the series, straddle a fine line between little enough detail to maintain the pacing and focus; but also flesh out the world sufficiently that it provides the depth needed for character and plot development. That’s not an easy balance to achieve in writing a story.

While I’ve found that fitting more light reading into my life fits better with the reality of how much time I can spend reading, many of my favorite novels are definitely in the heavy category. Curiously many of the best novels are somewhere in between these two extremes. But the only way to really tell whether a book will land in between is to give it a good reading 😀