In my 37 years, I’ve had many changes to my reading life. As my interests change, so do my book choices. I’ve also taken to reading things that I never expected because I work in a bookstore and I want to keep up with my customers. Here are a few of the changes that I’ve experienced over the years…
1. Cozy Mystery
I used to think that the people who read cozy mysteries were all a bunch of 70+ year old cat ladies. I assumed this because so many of our customers who bought these books were exactly that… but then I found bookstore-themed cozy mysteries and I was hooked! I love the average girl turned super sleuth trope, and I’m not afraid to admit it. In fact, I’ve reached the point where I actually want to write my own cozy mystery. I love how these heroes can be anyone and it’s just their curiosity and tenacity that saves the day over and over again. Plus, what bookworm doesn’t love a nice long series? 🤓
I’ve never thought it was weird that people listen to books because my mom is blind and it’s been the way she reads my entire life. I really couldn’t get into it though, probably because the narrators of her books never appealed to me. I discovered my love for audiobooks when I couldn’t find a particular series any other way, and the narrator was just amazing. Then I listened to Neil Gaiman reading his own books and was completely hooked. If you aren’t sold on the idea, have an author read their own work to you and see what you think.
3. New vs Old
When I was a kid I borrowed books from the library all the time and browsed the local used book store for the Girl Talk books. I didn’t have access to new books, so it never bothered me to get a yellowed copy that might have a few weird stains in it. Then I grew up, moved to a town with a bookstore, and I realized that I have a bit of a germaphobic streak when it comes to books. I love the clean pages, unbroken spines, and unbend corners of new books. I’ll still read used books, but I’m a bit more careful when I pick them out now.
Not having access to a lot of books meant that I reread a lot of the books I owned. Some of the books in my collection have been with me since highschool, and I can honestly say that there are a couple I have read 20+ times. Now that I have all the new books at my fingertips it is harder to find time to reread old favourites. It’s only when I’m really feeling nostagic or stressed that I start going back to my comfort zones. This year has been a big rereading year for me because I have had so many changes to my life.
Non-fiction never really appealed to me until I read some great biographies back in highschool. It’s still very rare for me to pick up something that isn’t a novel, but not quite as weird. It started with a random book called King of Paris that had been left behind at a cottage my family stayed in one summer. While this is technically considered historical-fiction because no one could know such details of Andre Dumas’ life, it launched my interest in reading about authors and other celebrities. I like to read about the broken people, the ones who struggled with addiction or trauma, who somehow came out on top in the end.
This is always a hot topic for bloggers, but I have to say, I just can’t be bothered to finish a book that I’m not enjoying. Reading is supposed to be a leisure activity (unless you are actually working for a book publishing company), so why do people do this to themselves? I can understand pushing through a particularly bad part of a book, but if I’ve read about 50 pages of a book and it’s just not catching my interest I’m going to put it down and move on.
7. Self-help/Learning new skills
Once upon a time I used to think it was weird that people get into this self-improvement kick at the beginning of each year, and yet now I find myself picking up a new collection of self-help books every January. For me, this includes learning new things, such as tarot. I like no-nonsense guides that aren’t too flowery and speak to my inner sense of scepticism. I don’t want to be preached at, even if that’s kind of what I’m signing up for when I grab these books. It’s nearly the end of the year, so what should I read this upcoming January?
8. Scary Stories
When I was a kid I read a lot of scary books (or at least what I thought there scary) and now I can’t read anything in the horror genre. Maybe my imagination grew, or I just experienced more awful things in life, but anything where people or animals are being hurt in any way is too much for me. I empathize with the characters and get so caught up in their fear that I end up traumatized myself. So, to keep myself sane it’s easier to read fiction with kick-ass female heroines who find a cute man to fall for and no one ends up hurt unless it’s some tangential character who dies and she has to solve their murder.
9. Fantasy vs. Reality
Most of the books I read as a young adult were fantasy-based because I just couldn’t relate to the average girl in the books that were supposed to be meant for my age. I grew up in a time when YA books were full of blonde, rich socialites who went to parties and dated football players, and I was a band geek with short hair who just wanted to be swept away by a kilt-sporting highlander from a magical land. Now that my access to literature has expanded, I’ve found books about dorky girls like me, but now I’m also old enough to be able to appreciate books about people who are different.
My final big change has been joining the world of BookCrossing.com. I used to be one of those people who held on to my books forever, and had a really hard time giving things up. Now I have come to realize that my huge collection of books has just been sitting, untapped, and that there are so many people who would love to read some of these books. I didn’t just want to donate them, so now I release them into the wild to be found by random people all over the place. Sometimes I bring them on vacations, most of the time I just leave them on public transportation, but it’s always great when someone finds one and discovers this project for themselves.
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