This a Sunday feature here where we discuss specific topics related to books and the blogosphere.
Let’s talk your evolving reading tastes!
I describe my reading as eclectic simply because there are so many more genres I like than I don’t, including sub genres. It was quite the journey getting here and I can pinpoint the pivotal moments in time that influenced many of my reading patterns today.
Let me step back to the beginnings of my adult reading. The Nancy Drew mystery series did more to direct the future of my reading choices than any other books. From those stories, I discovered my love of deduction, which also affected my career direction into strategic analysis. I love any type of puzzle (crosswords, sudoku, etc.) and gravitated to books like Agatha Christie’s, gothic mysteries (Victoria Holt anyone?), Alfred Hitchcock anthologies and eventually detective series. When John Grisham entered the literary scene with his legal thrillers, for me it was like manna from heaven.
As I matured, I worried that my reading had become rather limited. In fact, I knew I was missing out on some very good reading. By then, I’d moved to a new state, job and marriage and decided to combine my goal of establishing social relationships with that of becoming a more well rounded reader. I started a face-to-face bookclub with a fascinating group of women who were diverse in a myriad of ways. Those women caused an explosion in my reading choices, only bested by my later discovery of Shelfari and Goodreads. We read just about every genre, particularly contemporary and literary fiction, exposing me to some of the best contemporary writers of that time. That club met monthly for more than ten years until my job moved me to another city.
Speaking of Shelfari and Goodreads…
Shelfari was a social book website that was eventually bought by Amazon and merged with Goodreads. I stumbled upon it about eight years ago via Amazon and found a vibrant community of people with a shared love of books and who liked talking about them. Its structure was very conducive to vibrant book discussions and it didn’t take long for me to meet and become friends with a lot of people, many with whom I’ve continued a relationship with on Goodreads. They introduced me to new genres, including romance, which I actively avoided for years but now love because of the hosts of talented writers that have embraced the genre. I hadn’t even heard of urban fantasy prior to Shelfari, let alone young adult reading for adults. I was devastated when the site was shut down.
Now, I can’t imagine my reading life being limited to just a few genres. Adding the blogging community to the mix has made it even more interesting. I find myself exploring titles I never would have considered, just because they weren’t on my radar. I create a reading plan each month and ensure I’ve got a wide array of genres represented. I love jumping from one to another and sharing my experiences with others. I’m still very connected with Goodreads, too, and value those relationships dearly.