Reading History – Have My Tastes Changed?

I feel like I recently saw one of the blogs I follow talk about something similar to this too but as always, I can’t remember who it was. If that was you, please let me know so I can give you the proper credit as it’s what you deserve for this fantastic idea!

Anyways, for today’s post, I wanted to talk about my past relationship with reading and how my tastes have changed in all those years – as the title suggests.

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One of the very first books I vividly remember reading and loving was this book called Mensch, Pia. I had gotten it from my godmother back in the day and by the end, my copy was completely falling apart – that’s how many times it had been read. I can’t even tell you guys what the book was really about or why I loved it this much but early-teens me clearly did because this book stuck with me for over a decade.

My parents were never really big into reading so we didn’t really have any books at home. But that was fine because we had a library within maybe 5-10 minutes walking time that I could visit weekly and pick up new books for me to read. And funnily enough, when I first started using that library, I never went to the young adult section. I always read adult fiction. Almost exclusively. Now I’m starting to wonder if I’m trying to get caught up on all of the books I missed out during that time period!

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At some point, I then started to ask my parents for books here and there and slowly building my collection. That’s also when I got more into actual Young Adult literature and I think I was still in my teens – though probably very late teens. And I read everything. From Twilight to the Divergent trilogy and Hunger Games, to Looking For Alaska and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. All of it. I basically consumed all of the popular Young Adult books that were released back then and I loved it.

I was also really, really into dystopian books at the time so that was mainly what I reached for. Sure, at some point you feel like you’re reading the same story over and over again – but with different characters. However, I still enjoyed it, so I didn’t mind too much.

Around my early 20s is probably when I made the switch from dystopian to fantasy and I’m still very much in that space right now but I can also tell that I am enjoying contemporary so much more. I feel like it might have started because I really loved Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda and that made me feel like maybe I can love contemporary too. I read a good number of them last year and I can already tell that I’ll read so many more in 2018!

They are such fun and quick reads and you feel so accomplished for having finished a book quickly – it’s the best! And there are so, so many gems out there and I’m so glad that I now have the chance to discover them because I’m actually open to reading more contemporary novels!

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And with this recent discovery, I feel like I’ll soon dive even deeper into this new genre and I am honestly so excited about it! I doubt I’ll completely stop reading fantasy books because there are too many books that I’m already super looking forward to and because I still very much love the genre.

So, what this boils down to is this: I’ve always loved reading and I’ll often move from one genre to another or add more of a certain genre into my current reading preferences and Iove it.

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How about you guys? Have you noticed certain patterns in your reading over the years? Do you prefer certain genres now that you didn’t like to read before? Or are there genres that you have recently found you really enjoy that you didn’t expect to like? How about reading Adult versus Young Adult books? Has your reading preferences changed in regards to that? Let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to hear all about it!

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24 thoughts on “Reading History – Have My Tastes Changed?

  1. I used to read almost entirely middle grade books, up until the beginning of last year. I hadn’t realized that YA wasn’t actually aimed at adults, and I’d always been a bit scared to read adult books, so I read almost no YA. It probably didn’t help that the one YA book (that I realized was YA at least) I’d read had been sort of awful. It was something along the lines of ‘New Girl in Town’ or something, and her little brother was disabled and she was SO awful about it! So that left me with a bit of a hatred of YA as well…

    As for genres, I’ve always loved fantasy, but I think I’ve gotten more open to trying other genres lately… Having read some contemporaries that have more to them than “Oh no, my crush doesn’t like me! Oh wait, maybe he does! But oh no, now my best friend is mad at me! Oh yay, everything happy again!” really helped. As did realizing that the “sci-fi” book that had turned me off sci-fi was in fact dystopian, and that some sci-fi books were actually really good… (I still don’t really like dystopian though…)
    I also used to be obsessed with historical fiction, which I just really don’t care about anymore…

    So my tastes have mostly broadened I guess…

    And sorry, it’s eleven o clock at night here, so this comment is really long and rambly, and probably makes very little sense… Whoops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iris, if there is ONE THING you never, ever have to apologize for on my blog it’s leaving long and rambly comments! I LOVE them. So much!

      I completely skipped the Middle-Grade age range because I started reading in my early teens and like I said, we never really had books at home until I started asking for some. But I have read some now as an adult and those were BRILLIANT. Especially the Tahereh Mafi ones – her narrator is so, so much fun! But also the Magnus Chase books!

      Oh, and I totally get that! I would probably stay far, far away from a certain type of book if I had a bad experience with it before, so I get it! But I’m happy to hear that you’re open to reading more YA now as there are SO many great books out there! 😀

      I feel like we’ve been REALLY lucky with contemporaries lately because while what you described is sometimes still part of the plot, it’ll often be more of a side storyline and something else takes center stage! And I LOVE that. I don’t mind reading about some trouble with a crush or whatever, but I also want MORE than just that. For example, in Love, Hate & Other Filters we follow a Muslim girl who has to deal with the after-effects of someone with her last name committing a terrorist attack far, far from where she lives. That’s kind of the main plot of the book but we also follow her as she falls for this white guy, wants to pursue her dreams despite what her parents want for her, etc. And that was a really great contemporary to read and so much more than just about her boy trouble.

      Don’t dystopian books technically fall under the umbrella of sci-fi? I feel like I’ll often see them shelved under the sci-fi term. I’ve read a few sci-fi novels so far and while I really liked one (Becky Chambers’ book) I really, really didn’t like Claudia Gray’s book because she had an AI as part of her cast who was pretty much equipped to deal with ANY situation. And where is the fun and the stakes in that???

      Historical fiction is 100% something I haven’t explored enough in recent years but I really want to! There are some books that people ALWAYS praise (think Ruta Sepetys) and I want to know what they’re all about but I haven’t had the time to look further into that genre!

      But isn’t it fun to see our tastes broaden? Can you imagine if we always stuck within just ONE genre? We’d miss out on so many fantastic books! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I don’t mind at all if a contemporary has those aspects of course, I just appreciate books with more too them as well, and I’ve found that waayyyyy more with YA contemporary than MG contemporary…

        And yeah, dystopian IS usually sci-fi I think, but the sci-fi elements didn’t really bother me, while I was mildly traumatized by the dystopian aspects… I think I was a bit young for that book 😆 (I was half asleep while writing my original comment, so I probably wasn’t being particularly clear…)

        Yeah, I’m so happy my tastes have gotten broader! I’ve founds many good books in a lot of genres I never would have thought to try a couple years ago!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we had the same pattern; my first dive into YA starts with dystopian (Divergent made me do it) but then I move to fantasy, and now I’m starting to read quite a number of contemporary 😀 Fantasy is still my #1 genre, but I’ve been reading more and more contemporary.

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    1. Oh, the Divergent trilogy. I am still disappointed by how the author decided to end that trilogy… and I don’t think I’ll ever actually get over it. xD

      I love fantasy a ton too! What are some recent contemporaries that you enjoyed? I feel like I can never get enough recommendations in that department! 😀

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  3. I love this post! I feel like we share a little bit of the same journey for young adult boks, as I started with a lot of young adult dystopian books… unlike you, though, I really got into contemporaries afterwards and it’s only since I started blogging that I really got into fantasy books, too. Contemporaries always remain my favorite ones though 🙂
    We’re not the same when it comes to my family, as I’ve been living in books since I was little haha, my mother is a big reader as well, my sister too and… me. I’m the worst now though, with all the books blogging makes me want to read hahaha 🙂
    Lovely post! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! I’m so happy to hear that! 😀

      I feel like when I first discovered the bookish side of the internet or mainly YouTube everyone was raving about these fantasy books so I explored that side of the YA genre for years because there was just so much to read and love and not enough people I followed were reading Contemporary and pushing me in that direction. I mean, yeah I read some of what I feel like are staple items in YA that happen to also be contemporary (Looking For Alaska, TFIOS, Perks Of Being A Wallflower, I’ll Give You The Sun, etc) but it wasn’t until I started blogging that I discovered and heard about so, so many more great contemporaries – and you definitely had a hand in that too! 🙂

      That is basically my goal for when I have children of my own: to have ALL the books. I mean, I already have a nice collection going on but it’s probably about 85% in English because that’s how I prefer to read my books and I got rid of quite a few books before I moved out because I figured I had absolutely NO room to put them (which was stupid. I currently have two reusable shopping bags filled with books that I read but didn’t love sitting in my little storage room and I could’ve easily kept those books I got rid of there too) which reduced my collection of German books by quite a bit. xD

      And SAME. Ever since blogging marched into my life I feel like I’ve leveled up quite a bit as a reader!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YAY this makes me SO happy! I’m always here and happy to recommend ALL the amazing contemporary books to you if you let me 😀
        I get that, my dream is to have big bookshelves and books everywhere, too – I don’t have space for all of my books anymore, yet I keep on buying books, I can’t help it hahaha.

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  4. I love this! I always have been an off and on fantasy reader (starting with Harry Potter of course) and reading books about Djinn and child hypnotists.

    As much as I loved those things growing up, I read a lot more historical fiction with the majority of the settings in World War II, the Titanic, the Great Depression, or the American Revolution. I WAS OBSESSED.

    In high school, I was all about the “classics”, I bought…but rarely finished, all of the books that were written in an English that took a lot more thought. It isn’t that I enjoyed them more (I mean I rarely finished them because they took so much effort and I was/am busy), but I liked the idea of them and Literature class said we should read them.

    Then I hit a pocket where all I read were Nora Roberts romances…oh the feel good moments…but also the repetition! That was when my reading really picked up. I was working three jobs and was a full time undergraduate student, but I was devouring books again! I thought I had been too busy before, but in reality I just hadn’t found books that were refreshing and relaxing…I had been trying to hard to please other readers and not thinking about my own enjoyment (which was the purpose of my reading).

    When “YA” became a “real genre” for me (aka I was no longer a teenager but realized I loved reading those works), I shifted into reading dystopian novels, fantasy YA, and contemporary YA.

    Then I made a shift into Christian Adventure Romance.

    I still read a little bit of everything and I’m trying to get into more nonfiction and classics again, but while they may be enjoyable, they aren’t the relaxing quick narrative I often crave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still haven’t given historical fiction a real try so far, but it’s definitely on my genre TBR as there are a few books that I keep hearing nothing but praise about and my curious self needs to know what they are all about!

      Classics were NEVER something that interested me and I hated having to read ANY of them for class. Especially in English class (I’m German, so it was my second language and even though I was pretty good at it, I never liked reading books in it). It often felt like I suddenly couldn’t remember any of the words anymore whenever someone asked for a translation which was so annoying. I think my English teacher for my last two years of High School would be quite surprised to see that I now read mostly in English and that I LOVE it. xD

      Oh! That makes me think of my Nicholas Sparks period! God, I loved reading those books even though they are quite repetitive, as you said. But sometimes all you want is a quick Sparks book!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel like I’m in this strange state of flux right now where I can’t figure out WHAT my tastes are. Honestly, it’s so frustrating! I dislike almost every YA contemporary I read so I’m moving away from those, and while I definitely prefer fantasy I’m having a difficult time finding the sorts of characters I like, and it doesn’t help that I hate 1st person narrative which I think is also contributing to the problem. I thought perhaps I was moving passed YA, but literally every time I pick up an Adult book (no matter the genre) I feel bored to tears. I’m slowly making my way through The Lunar Chronicles right now which seem to be the only thing I consistently enjoy. Hopefully I’m able to nail down what it is I’m looking for soon!

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  6. For me, as a really young child my love was in realistic fiction, like the Famous Five series or Laura Ingalls series. Then I started enjoying the sci-fi and fantasy books as well, and eventually all the YA dystopians. Nowadays I prefer adult literary fiction, but I still have a soft spot for sci-fi and fantasy 🙂 Great post!

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  7. Oh I love this post! It’s such a fun time reflecting a bit on your reading history 💗 I vividly remember reading a lot of books in elementary school, as we had tiny library right next to school and were allowed to check out books weekly. It was amazing and I remember always devouring the books! As a teen I was really into Rick Riordan (and I still am), but during the time when I was 15-18 I read very little because I was in the biggest reading slump 😦 I think that’s why I’m reading a lot and a lot of YA as opposed to adult books, because I’m still catching up on all popular Series 😄

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    1. I’m so old that by the time that Rick released his first book I was already almost 16 years old and just out of Realschule. HOLY SHIT. I just realized how long ago all of that was and now I’m just speechless. xD

      I’m so happy you guys had a library really close to by when you were younger! As a kid I remember just spending time outside, playing in the flower beds and hiding out in the Maisfelder close by. I wish I had read more – can you imagine all the books I probably missed out on???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is it bad that this makes me laugh? 😂 To be honest I cannot even truly remember when exactly I read the Percy Jackson books, my reading memory of that time is sooo bad

        It was a pretty small library (as I come from a tiny village) but everything to younger Me! I actually read more as a kid, but then not so much as a teen, so I totally get it! I’m still trying to catch up on all the books and yet there is still not enough time 😱

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  8. This is such a lovely post, I always love seeing how people got into reading and what their process was because I feel it’s very different for everybody! I had a dystopia phase as well, though it didn’t take long because I’m more of a fantasy and contemporary person. I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of these two genres. I also enjoy reading ya lit more than adult literature, but I love reading a classic from time to time. I rarely reach for nonfiction unless it’s about discrimination or psychology (since that’s what I’m studying, ha).
    Lovely post, I really loved it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marta! I’m happy to hear you loved it! 😀

      I feel like the chances of me growing out of fantasy (and as a more recent addition: contemporary) are pretty slim too! I mean, just thinking about the fantasy books I’ve read this year I’m thinking I’ll be covered with FANTASTIC books for at least a few more years! And what more could a bookworm really ask for?

      I don’t think I’ve ever voluntarily read a classic. And I don’t really feel the need too even though I sometimes feel like I SHOULD read them to be a ‘proper reader’ or something like that. And the only non-fiction book that has grabbed my attention is Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime! I heard him talk about the book and his story and I’m SO curious about it! Hopefully I’ll get to it one day soon! 🙂

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