I’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been enjoying, and what I’ve been craving and I’ve noticed something: my reading has changed.
Before I go any further, I want to assure you that I am not a genre snob. I do not believe genre, or any genre, is “less than” any other and I do not look down on any genre. I hope you will see that my reasons for reading, or not, these genres are very personal (you know….it’s not you, it’s me).
Genres I’m currently reading:
This is currently my go-to. For a long time, I stayed away from mysteries because I had no patience. I would always peak at the end to see how things ended before deciding to continue. Then, if you already know how it ends, why bother reading it? And you know what stopped me from doing this? My kindle. I don’t exclusively read mysteries on kindle now, but I did until I broke myself of the habit of looking ahead.
I tried to figure out why these are appealing to me right now and I think it is because a mystery is basically a story that makes order out of disorder. Something bad happens and all the threads are untangled until we know what happened. Let’s face it, we just lived through a period of utter chaos and the ability to “clean up a mess” is very appealing at the moment. I can’t fix the world, but I can read a mystery novel.
This one is really a new one for me. I rarely read anything non-realistic growing up. My mother was not a fan of books (or movies…or TV shows…) not rooted in reality and she let me know it if I ever ventured in that area. Honestly, it was strange that I stayed away from fantasy as I was a kid who loved fantastical things. Anyway, as an adult, I have made a concerted effort to try different genres…and fantasy is working for me!
Now, I have to admit I haven’t quite gone as far as high fantasy. So far, I’ve only read one book that would be considered high fantasy (Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun), which I quite enjoyed but it took me a long time to settle in. I’m more comfortable with lighter fantasy. Right now I’m reading (and absolutely loving) The House in the Cerulean Sea and that is much more my cup of tea.
This has always been one of my favorite genres and it always will be. Even as a child I loved historical fiction and that has not changed. I think my love of historical fiction is what led me to major in History, and now I’m putting my college degree–and all the money spent on it–into reading more historical fiction.
While I have always read historical fiction, the type has changed. There was a time when I, like everyone else, was reading World War II fiction. Now, I’m sick of it (yet, still find myself reading it) and am reading pretty much any other period. I can honestly say there won’t be a time I won’t be reading historical fiction.
Genres I’m not currently reading
As I said above, I don’t look down on any genre. Romance is one of those genres that is often looked down upon and that is not what I’m doing here. There was a time when I was reading a lot of romance–I read almost exclusively romance in 2017. At that time, I just needed books where things would be okay at the end. It didn’t feel like the world would be okay, so I needed the reassurance that only romance could offer.
I guess it would be fair to say that mystery has replaced romance because I just need something else now. I’m not completely off romance–I will be reading Jasmine Guillory’s new book when it is released next month–but it just isn’t the genre for me right now. Who knows, I may be back to it in 2022!
Much like genre, Young Adult is a genre that just doesn’t fit with my life right now. I’ve enjoyed it in the past and I really struggled as to why YA was no longer working for me. I think it is because my daughter is just on the verge of the Young Adult years and I think I just need some distance in my book life as I’m living it my real life. It’s not that I can’t stand young adults, but I feel like my daughter needs her space to navigate these years and I need space to give her the space she needs.
Does that even make any sense? Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be back to reading YA in about 8 years.
Have you noticed your preferred genres change at different times in your life?