I wanted to talk about how my life as a reader has changed over the years. I am not the same reader I was ten or twenty years ago. I am definitely not the same reader I was in high school! Here are nine things about me as a reader that I have noticed a change in.
I read more: Just on a baseline level, I’m much more inclined to read for pleasure than I was when I was a younger adult. I do still watch movies and tv, of course, but I’ve turned into one of those people who always have a book with me. This is why I now read about a hundred books a year.
Fewer series: Teenage me loved a good series, and it’s not that I don’t have any time for them anymore or anything, but I’m less compelled by the idea of starting a brand-new series than I used to be. I read much more stand-alone novels, as I like to have more diversity in my reading life.
More open to different genres generally: I’ll be honest, sci-fi and horror aren’t usually my preferred kinds of narratives. But of course there are gems in any genre, and I’m much less likely than I used to be to pass over a book I think I might like just because it’s not the sort of book I usually read.
More likely to buy in paper rather than electronically: Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle. I have HUNDREDS of books on it, and I think it’s amazing that I can have thousands upon thousands of pages on a device smaller than the average magazine. But I really do gravitate lately towards having an actual book in my hands. This has created storage issues.
More interested in critical thinking about my reading: When I was in high school, it felt like analyzing a book could only serve to “ruin” it. But the older I get, the more I want to really examine what exactly it is that works about a book and why to better understand both technique and what I enjoy as a reader.
More diversity in authorship: I grew up reading a lot of books by white people, particularly men. They do, after all, make up much of the literary canon. I make more of an effort lately to seek out work by women, people of colour, immigrants, and people whose life experiences are generally different than my own.
Less likely to read something I’m not excited about just because everyone else is: I’m not immune to the best-seller lists, but I used to be more willing to read something that was popular even if it didn’t seem like something I would like, because I wanted to be able to talk about the latest hot book. I’m much more aware these days of what I like and give myself permission to say no on something I have no reason to think would be a good use of my time.
More likely to make recommendations: Recommending books is hard! So much depends on what kinds of things each person responds so, and hearing that someone didn’t enjoy something you told them they should read is so disappointing! But people ask and I’ve come to enjoy making educated guesses about what might appeal to them.
More involved in the bookish community: I have this blog! I have a twitter account where I follow authors and readers and I post pictures of my books on my Instagram. The internet has a LOT of downsides, but for what it does for keeping me connected to the bookish world, I appreciate it!
What are some differences you have noticed in your reading over the past year? Let me know in the comments down below. I’d love to hear them!