08 January 2009

Reading Evolution

Do you find that your reading tastes have changed over the years? Mine certainly have, but it took a recent trip to Barnes & Noble to realize how much.

Ten years ago, I read mostly historical romance, with a smattering of sci-fi (Lois McMaster Bujold) or fantasy/urban fantasy thrown in. Fast forward to this past's the breakdown of my stash: two fantasy novels (Emma Bull and Mercedes Lackey), one urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton), one Japanese thriller, one modern thriller, two historical fiction novels (one set in 19th-century China, the other in Roman Britain), and one book on Zen Buddhism.

Notice there's not a single romance title among them. Save for books written by friends, or friends of friends, I don't read romance any more. I just don't want to; nothing about the genre attracts me any more. Maybe it's my own cynicism with the industry, maybe it's a by-product of my own hideous divorce experience, or maybe I think the genre has hamstrung itself with over-used and cliched concepts.

Whatever the cause, I'm stretching my reading wings and trying new and different things. Over the next few days I'll post some of my thoughts on these experiences, and what, if any, genre piques my interest.

For reading, that is. Writing is still another matter. But more on that later.


Nan said...

Oddly enough, I feel the same way. Besides reading friend's books, I don't read romance. I don't buy romance. I wince at the verbage.

Anyway, I thought my lack of interest in romance was due to my own personal mess-or perhaps my age. More likely it's due to my cynical view of the world.

I'm curious to hear more of your ideas on the matter.