Thursday, 5 June 2008
Booking Through Thursday
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?
Hmm. I saw this week's Booking Through Thursday meme on John's site, and started a reply to him. Then I got started thinking, 'have my book-tastes changed over the years?' Have they really? And the answer is, no. I read more of what I like, and less of what I don't - in fact, I refuse to read what I'm not interested in, now. I am trying to read more of what matters to me now, more of what I enjoy, and expand in areas I am interested in. These are still the same areas I was interested in 20 years ago: fantasy, mystery, poetry, history, some fiction, some biographies, gardening, cooking. Now, John took the example of Stephen King, and said that his approach to King has changed. Me, I find I want to reread Stephen King's work and see if I enjoy it as much as a 40-something reader, as I did when I was in my late teens and early twenties! My approach to horror books has changed though, from devouring everything, to backing off in the 1990s (splatterpunk, anyone?), to realizing lately that there are some really good scary books again, so more horror is creeping in now.
And as I thought that, I realized that this is what I do: I go in concentric circles - I read heavily in one area, then I back off for a while, then I come back to it again years later. What I am learning is to not give away books in that area because I will come back to it, eventually! See Charles de lint below - once I read everything by him, then I backed off for a while, and now I'm keen to read all his books again. I want to see what I can discover this time around. Since this is a theme that keeps coming up in my posts, it is obviously something that interests me. Maybe we should do a meme on what we find when we reread a favourite author, are we disappointed or in love again?
At the same time, I don't just want to reread favourite authors, I want to read new books and find new favourite authors. Neil Gaiman, anyone? Jasper Fforde? I know by now that chances are they will be mystery or fantasy writers, or poets (or Arsenal supports, like *Nick Hornby*). So, the answer is no, not really. My reading tastes are pretty much the same. Now I don't know if this is good or bad! Aren't we supposed to change as we get older? What about our life-long loves and passions? I have been reading mysteries since day one. And when they get too dark or violent, I switch to fantasy, my second great love. And when that gets silly or unrealistic, I go back to mystery. I need them both. All my other books fit in around these two areas. Ghost stories/horror novels would be third.....
good fiction (L.M. Montgomery to Jane Austen line of good writing!)
I do have to admit to reading tons of (gulp) romances in my teens! Thankfully that has dropped off quickly after I left home, never to reappear (I hope). Oh well, we all have our bad book pasts, and I'm not counting this for this meme!
What do you think? Are you like John, or me? Have your reading tastes changed over the years?