Booking Through Thursday (9.11.08): Villainy

September 11, 2008





Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.

So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.

And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

Answer: The answer to the first question (do terrorist and other attacks change what I read) is no. I think its actually pulled me in to read more about it, may it be fiction or nonfiction. I really like learning about what happened and why and try to grasp every detail, to put myself in their shoes, and to never ever forget. Villains in the books I read aren’t normally like terrorist or killers, the villains in the books I read are more the bitchy and mean and who always say something nasty to put a character down to make themselves feel more powerful. I don’t normally read characters that are murderers or stuff like that, although I may once in a while. But the ones I have read are scary no doubt (I’m reminded of the Heather Wells Mysteries Series) and sometimes don’t let me sleep as hurriedly as possible (makes me remember reading it in the 8th grade and not being able to fall asleep fast because I was scared Heather Wells was going to be killed). Still I think the important answer here is that due to 9/11 and other tragedies I am more pulled toward learning about the subject. 

As always, I pay my respect on this day to the victims and their families on this 11th of September. May nothing like this ever occur again. 

What are your thoughts? What were you doing on 9/11/01? Do attacks like that make you stop reading certain books because it just is of a touchy matter? Tell me in the comments. 

-Meme: Booking Through Thursday


  1. I remember on 9/11 I was in elementary school. I was not aware of what time it was exactly but my teacher was frantically trying to reach her dad, I think he worked in NYC. (her father fortunately was safe) And then when she told us about what happened I remember my classmates, and my teacher and I were looking out the window and in the distance we can see dark clouds of smoke. (My school was approximately 45 mins away from Manhattan.) It was so depressing when ever we turned on the T.V. (which seemed like it was on 24/7 at our house) to see people despartley searching for their loved ones.

    About the question:
    Do attacks like that make you stop reading certain books because it just is of a touchy matter?

    Umm…I never really read book dealing with these kind of issues. So, I’m not exactly sure if I would read them or not. But what you mentioned make sense.

  2. Oh one thing i forgot to mention is that it is amazing how truly UNITED everyone was at that tragic time. This is why I’m so proud to be an American.

  3. I remember I was in elementary school too although you were a lot closer than I was (I live in Florida). I was in the third grade, in Mrs. Naranjo’s math class. All of the sudden the teacher next door, Mrs. Fernandez, came into our classroom and whispered in Mrs. Naranjo’s ear. Mrs. Naranjo stopped teaching. We just sat around wondering what was wrong. They didn’t tell us whatsoever. My dad picked me up from school, and he tried to explain that some buildings were destroyed by some bad people. I didn’t understand much, but I understood things were bad. I also think it is amazing how united the entire U.S was on the days following 9/11. I remember everyone had flags waving high on their car windows. My dad bought one too. I felt very glad to be in a place where in the face of tragedy our country stood together, putting aside political, religious, and cultural differences and standing tall next to each other as the truly United States of America.

    Thanks for stopping by, May!

  4. Great post, Vanessa!

    I agree it is important that we never forget the events that occurred on September 11. So many of our innocent Americans lost their lives either in the explosions or as heroes trying to save the lives of others. To see so many people put the safety of strangers before themselves was a beautiful thing. It is just a reminder that even in frightening times, angels are among us everyday.

    I, like you, tend to read books that focus on the dangers of our words or the way we treat people. As a middle school teacher, gossip and bullying break the spirit of young people. I like to see how fictional and nonfictional characters are able to overcome the hurt, so that I can help my students in their situations.

  5. Exactly. I feel that way too. It kind of teaches us how to stop it from happening ever again.

    Thanks for commenting Shalonda. 🙂

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