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booking through thursday: reading trends

btt2

 Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

My book tastes have changed quite a lot for someone as young as I am, or so I think.  When I was younger, I read mostly YA novels, but I didn’t really have a specific focus, I just read whatever I could find, and usually multiple times.  My first “adult” books were romance novels, mostly because that was what my mom read.  After a short time, I specifically latched onto historical romance, mostly because I really love history and didn’t quite realize it at the time.  In high school, I made a friend who recommended the Wheel of Time to me, and there began my love affair with fantasy novels.  So, for a while, I was reading romance and fantasy pretty much exclusively, although I never really noticed that none of my favorite books were romance – I did notice that they got same-y after a while, though, and by the end of high school I was embarrassed to be reading them at all, so I stopped.

I went to college and barely read at all for the first year and a half, except for required reading for my English major and a few books over the summer.  I was unhappy during most of this time, except while I was in England, and looking back I think losing my guaranteed “escape” made it a lot worse.  My brother (my only sibling) passed away in December 2005 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma and I realized that I really needed to read again, so as a distraction I began my first ever list of how many books I read.  Around this time I also realized that I really, really loved history, in particular medieval history, not only as a setting for romance novels but as a subject and as a setting for all sorts of other novels.  This is a love that I suspect has existed all my life, because I recall that my favorite books from childhood were often either fantasy or set in medieval Europe.  In 2006 I read 76 books, largely historical fiction and fantasy.  At the end of 2006, I discovered LibraryThing, and my reading skyrocketed, because in 2007 I read 139 books, again mostly composed of historical fiction, fantasy, and history.  So far, these have remained constant, although I have been introducing a bit more modern literature into my TBR piles ever since I read The Remains of the Day last year.

So, there is my reading history, long and complex and boring for everyone but me I’m sure!

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6 comments to booking through thursday: reading trends

  • Not boring at all!

    While I haven’t had anything happen to me as tragic as a sibling passing away, I can see some similarities in our reading patterns. In particular, the hiatus from reading during college. In my University years, most of my reading was assigned with a few thrown in for the summer. I was introduced to some great books that way, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t really resume reading for enjoyment until I’d graduated.

  • Okay, this is not directly related to BTT, but I’m adding you to my google reader. I can’t wait for some great medieval novel recommendations!

  • I have been reading through several BTT posts, and am excited that there are many of us who could read little but our English major books while in college. I’m glad to be in good company! And I think it is excellent that you are so connected to your reading history – I just know I go in spurts of reading/not reading. Thanks for sharing!

  • Meghan

    John and Megan – It is really interesting how many people struggle to read outside of school in college. I’ve noticed it among my friends as well as in this question and it’s going to be interesting to see how many of them pick it back up now that we have graduated. We certainly are in good company, at least!

    Devourer – Thanks for adding me! If you haven’t already, I’d start with Sharon Kay Penman and Bernard Cornwell, they are the best two authors that I have read so far.

  • The medieval times aren’t something I’ve read much about, but I do have While Christ and His Saints Slept. It was one of the monthly challenges on HistoricalFiction.org, but I never was able to get to it. It was really touching what you said about your brother. I’m glad that reading was able to help you through that time.

  • Interesting post. I’m Late this week but the topic prompted a reflective account on the issues. Yes the the dry years for me where around getting a higher education. Over 10 years, got a degree a masters, a social work qualification and a teacher qualification!