Hello, fellow readers!
In this post, I wanted to discuss how different my reading taste is now compared to how it once was. I feel like it has gone through roller coasters, in which I’m just shifting between already known genres.
Please, feel free to share some of your experiences in the comments too and how you think the changes in your reading taste have mirrored your own life changes.
My favorites as a child
I’ve always been a reader, ever since I read my first words at the age of three. So my parents bought me a lot of books and I tried a little bit of everything as a child.
(Ha, how much has changed. My parents *hate* to buy me books nowadays).
I read pretty much everything, from long series to standalones. Fantasy to contemporary. Obviously, it was all children books, but still. I think because I was trying to comprehend the world, I didn’t have many preferences, and was just consuming as much as I could until I found out what I liked and what I didn’t like.
Pippy Longstocking was my hero at the ages of five and six. When I grew slightly older, I also started to read the Beacon Street Girls’ series and I carried on with it throughout teenagehood as well, since it’s a very long one. I still have a lot of fond memories of it!
I liked to read a lot of “girly” books
(I hate this definition, because honestly gender rules are so last century, but you get me) – with female protagonists, fairies and princesses -, but I also liked books centered around male characters, like Zac Power.
Surprisingly, I’ve never been a fan of comics or graphic novels. I mean, obviously I was a fan of ‘Turma da Mônica‘, which is the most popular Brazilian comic series, but that’s about it.
My favorites as a teenager.
When I turned nine, I think, I got a Percy Jackson & The Olympians book set for my birthday and things changed a lot. First, I devoured the series in a matter of a couple weeks and kept re-reading the books over and over again because I didn’t believe anything else would compare.
When I was eleven, social media showed up and I found out Tumblr. Through the Percy Jackson Tumblr fandom, I also found out other amazing book series. Obviously, I was reluctant to pick them up, but at some point I found out that The Hunger Games had mythology inspirations and so I gave it a shot.
It didn’t resemble Percy Jackson in the slightest, but I still loved it a lot. After that, it was all Divergent and The Maze Runner and Shadowhunters and all the fantasies and dystopians that I could get my hands on.
I completely stopped reading contemporaries and actually started looking down on them. I felt like they had simplistic writing and didn’t offer enough depth. Even when John Green was everything people could talk about, I was still protecting my fantasies with all my heart.
I think it had a lot to do with the fandom I was in. I was pretty influenced by the hype, and so I’d only read books that I had already heard praise for in social media. This hasn’t changed at all, but the fact I was following only people that had the same book taste as I did, didn’t help with my branching out.
My favorites now.
I don’t think there’s a specific book I can pinpoint that changed my relationship with contemporaries, but I slowly started to gravitate more towards them. It was probably around 2014, when I found out Booktube, and started getting different recommendations.
Now, contemporary is a hundred percent my favorite genre. I still like fantasy, but I’m much more picky about which series I give a chance to. Except for perhaps Six of Crows, The Raven Cycle and Rebel of the Sands, I haven’t carried on with a fantasy series in a loooong time.
Obviously, branching out in social media and following new people allowed me to branch out in my reading as well, but I find that what really made me stick with contemporaries was the fact I could relate to them. I was finally reading books that represented me a bit more. They were teenagers, going through mundane life – not saving the world or slaying dragons.
At the same time, fantasy and more dense genres became way too much of a task in the middle of my already packed high-school experience. I had a lot of work, and so when I picked up a book, I wanted it to be entertaining and fast-paced, so long books were (are) pretty much banned.
My reading taste has clearly changed a lot! What about yours? Which books you used to love as a kid? Let’s chat in the comments!