Something to Talk About










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 27703DD5-07B8-48AB-B0D9-640B8148D3CEknew 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.

So, that’s how my reading tastes evolved. What’s your story?

Have your reading tastes evolved over the years?

What or who are your biggest reading influences?

40 thoughts on “Something to Talk About”

  1. For me it was a lot of horror and mystery/crime and sci-fi when i was a teen. I read less horror now, but still heavily leaning towards mysteries sci-fi and thrillers. In my early twenties i added dystopia to the mix. I’m trying a bit of contemporary now 😀 I like it i think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Norrie!

      Funny how I also embraced horror when I was teen and shy away from it now. I’m also reading more sci-fi, too, now that I have friends and bloggers I trust who make great recommendations. Dystopia is fascinating but really new for me (the last three or four years). Are you trying contemporary fiction? Another one of my stalwarts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I miss Shelfari so much! I spent so much time on there and it just felt like an overall better experience for me than GR ever has. Warms my heart to see other people loved it as well. Wish it would make a comeback. I definitely have evolved as a reader. I read any genre now. I used to read primarily “Fear Street” books by R.L. Stine, but now I will pretty much read whatever I feel like it, regardless of genre. A good book is a good book to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cassie!

      Another Shelfarian!!! It was a glorious community and I’m sorry Amazon never really committed to the site. I like the tools on Goodreads but it lacks the same community experience that Shelfari created. I don’t think a comeback is ever likely😢

      Good to see you’re open to all genres. I truly agree with a good book is a good book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great topic! I’ve always loved mysteries, but have learned to add more genres into my reading life. I read a much wider range of books now than I ever have before. A good part of my current tbr is influenced by the recommendations and reviews I see on book blogs and Goodreads.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved reading as a child and read whatever I could get my hands on. I was a huge lover of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew and love of mystery grew from there. I had never heard of Shelfari. I found Goodreads in 2013 and my reading has never been the same. I became a member of Netgalley in 2014 and have never looked back. After joining Netgalley, I began my blog and was introduced to so many new things. Before this I was pretty complacent in my reading. I read popular fiction such as Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben etc. but now I read so many genres, authors and books I never thought I would read before.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’ve always been a pretty eclectic reader. I am sad I missed out on Shelfari! I hadn’t even heard of it! I remember there was an app from Facebook where I could store my books I’d read, and some friends kept telling me I needed to join Goodreads, and I was so resistant. It took FB removing the app for me to finally join. 😂 And I had lost all that work too! This was a fun post, Jonetta! I enjoyed reading it and everyone’s answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennifer!

      I can definitely vouch for you being an eclectic reader as the evidence is on my own shelf🙂

      You would have loved Shelfari as it was all about book discussions. It was a lovely community and so easy to make friends. Many of us are still connected, on and off Goodreads. I cannot imagine a Facebook app for managing books. And to summarily dump you was just wrong. Glad I found you on Goodreads as that’s how I discovered your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Me, I do ready just about anything although recently I seem to be in the thriller mode. I do like well written non fiction and historical fiction novels as well. Can’t say who or what made me a reader,but I do know I have always used it as a way to escape when I am bothered by things around me. I have also learned recently that it is ok to not finish a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this story! Nancy Drew was also one of my early reading obsessions. I remember my grandmother buying the first books for me and she’d read them when she was a kid too. I think I must have read through every series that evolved over the years and never got sick of them. It makes me happy to remember and to hear that it was special to you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post Jonetta! Love the discussion! I used to read romances when I was younger that was many, many years ago. Lol. Now my eyes roll at even the mention of a romance in a story. I used to read horror.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am kind of boring I guess, because I mostly just read romance. I like dreamy happily ever afters, and really like to find ones that are unique. I used to read a lot of fantasy/paranormal, but now I don’t at all. I can’t seem to get too far from reality or I lose my focus on the story. I also used to read a lot of mystery, and do still pick those up every once in awhile. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, DG!

      Do you know how many sub genres there are in the romance category? Too many to count so that doesn’t make you boring. My favorite is romantic suspense and then there are all those tropes to get hung up in.

      I only discovered paranormal romance about six years ago and went on a reading tear. I took a break and am only reading new releases in about three series. I burned out on them.

      How you can resist all these mysteries…☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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