"How has your reading changed over the years? Have you started reading more “meaty” books (books with more substance)? Or, have you gone to more “fluffy” reads? Perhaps you’ve done neither, and you’ve just always read the same type of thing! If that’s the case, why? Are you willing to step out of your reading ‘comfort zone’ and try something new? What would you recommend to someone who needed to “branch out”?"
My reading taste have flucuated over the years, bouncing between fluffy works and meaty works. Currently, I feel like my tastes are right down the middle.
When I was in grade school, I enjoyed reading serial books because I loved following the same characters through different adventures. I loved following Trixie Belden and her friends on each new mystery adventure, the Three Invesigators as they worked through a case, or Betsy's adventures with her little sister, Star.
In my teenage years and early 20s, I was into the paranormal, especially the vampire and horror genre. Stephen King was the author I read the most. Salem's Lot was the first vampire book I ever read and I was totally hooked. I also loved The Shining, Carrie and the extended version of The Stand. I also enjoyed Anne Rice's vampire chronicles, especially Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. I was also hooked on Rice's witch trilogy: The Witching Hour, Lasher, and Taltos.
During my early adult life, I was all about the romance novel - devouring 5 to 6 books a week. Johanna Lindsay's A Pirate's Love remains one of my favorite books and I've probably read it several dozen times. Kathleen Woodiwiss held me captive with her first book The Flame and the Flower. Although I never got caught up in the Harlequin Romance craze, I have read a few of these, but I always considered them candy for my sweet tooth instead of nurishment for my soul.
Then in my 30s, I turned to self-help books and inspirational reads. Dr. Phil to help me with my "Relationship Rescue", Bob Greene to help me "Get with the Connection", Susan Powder screaming at me to "Stop the Insanity" and Rick Warren telling me to live "The Purpose Driven Life."
Now that I'm in my 40s, I am reading more non-fiction - recently books about the Iraq War and President Bush. The Secret White House War: 2006-2008 by Bob Woodard and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi have been two books I've recently read and reviewed and they have made a huge impact on my life.
Of course, I still love reading serial books, but the subject matter has changed from my childhood. Laurell K. Hamilton's two series, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry are my current favorite series. I also enjoy Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series, Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mysteries and Janet Evanoich's Stephanie Plum series.
So all in all, even though my taste in reading material has varied over the decades, I still enjoy reading the same types of books. I do read books recommended to me, especially if they are out of the "norm" for me. I would also recommend to other readers to branch out; if you only read fiction books, try reading a non-fiction. If you only read non-fiction, give fiction a fair shake. I realize someone who reads Christian fiction may not want to read something from the vampire genre, and vice-versa, but there are so many different types of books and authors that it's a shame not to give a few of them a chance.