Monday, April 26, 2010

RA Interview Lab: Person 4


This is another nonfiction reader, but his interests lie outside of politics. His favorite hobbies are golf, acoustic guitar, and classic rock music, and he loves to read all he can about them. He is also mildly interested in learning to play card games like poker and black jack. He mentioned that the last book he bought, other than books of guitar tablatures, was an encyclopedia of body-building.

I decided to first look for something that fits his interests within his comfort zone—namely, nonfiction books. I recalled that RA Online includes some nonfiction, so I went and browsed the topics there first. I looked for “guitar” and found nothing, but I did find “Music—rock.” However, there was no nonfiction listed under this topic, so I browsed in "Golf" instead. I found John Daly’s autobiography, My Life In and Out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All the Bullshit You Think You Know About Me—a title which made me laugh out loud. I shared this with Person 4, who also laughed and said he was interested. Just to be certain, I asked if he thought he would enjoy an autobiography that might more closely resemble a fiction story than some of the guides and handbooks to which he was accustomed, and he replied that he was willing to give it a try.

I asked him if he would be interested at all in reading fiction, and he confirmed that he would, but he had no idea what he would like since he never enjoyed reading the assigned material in high school. He entrusted me to give him a good starting point. I asked him a few questions about the kinds of movies or television shows he enjoys, and he gave me vague answers that told me he dabbled a little in every genre. I asked if he liked science fiction or fantasy, and he said yes. He then mentioned the Harry Potter movies and how he had heard repeatedly that the books were even better, and he asked me if they were easy books to get into. I confirmed this, telling him that I knew many people who didn’t particularly enjoy reading, with the single exception of Harry Potter. So I went ahead and lent him my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

RA Online


He started reading the first Harry Potter, but was finding it “childish” and a bit tedious, as he already knew what was going to happen. But he was still interested in finishing the series, so I told him it would probably be okay for him to skip to the third or fourth book, which I have found contain a lot more details that were left out of the films. I encouraged him to try to get to the seventh book before the next film came out, because there is nothing quite like reading a new Harry Potter book before being spoiled by the film versions. I lent him my copies of the third and fourth books, and he told me that he would try to get through Harry Potter before moving on to the John Daly title.

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