Thursday, June 05, 2008
Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?
My first impulse was to say yes, my tastes have changed considerably over the years, but then my eyes fell on a book that I checked out from the public library over the weekend--Charlotte Bacon's Split Estate, which has a gorgeous photo of a grey horse on the front cover--and now I'm not so sure if I'm anything more than a grown-up version of the child-reader I once was.
I lived and breathed horse books throughout my childhood, preferred the Trixie Beldens to the Nancy Drews because the characters were much more fully developed and enjoyable all the while knowing I didn't really care one way or the other about the actual solving of mysteries, and, although I wasn't exposed to more than a handful of classics before I was a teenager, took to the type of book studied in English class like a duck to water. I took an intro to fiction class my freshman year of college that focused on contemporary literary fiction (the Anne Tyler and Margaret Drabble I read there still count as all-time favorites) and contemporary literary fiction has remained my default setting ever since.
Ways I've changed: I read a lot of Zane Grey, Alistair MacLean, Emilie Loring and Grace Livingstone Hill when I was an early adolescent because that was what the relatives foisted onto me; other than an interest in reading the Zane Grey that's set in Torey, Utah, at some point, I can't see ever returning to these authors. I read a lot of science fiction when I was right out of college; I have no interest in returning to the planet of Pern although I did give dragons a try a couple years back with Naomi Novik and I read far more Animorphs books with S. than I ought to admit to, so I haven't completely turned my back on that type of thing. I was slow to warm to Jane Austen--I thought those characters lived awfully tedious little lives the first few times I tried them--and now I like her quite a bit.
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