discussion

Let’s Chat! How my reading evolved

Hey everyone!

How is it going? Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while. I don’t know about you guys, but my reading tastes change from time to time. A couple of years ago, I’d say that I am a contemporary fan, but now I am more into fantasy and sci-fi. So… I decided to rewind back a few decades and talk about the books that I read way back in the day, and the books that I enjoy now.

2000-2005

When I was a kid, I was addicted to The Babysitters’ Club series. I swear I collected these books- They took over my shelves! I also read the spin-off series: The Babysitters’ Club Mysteries, Specials, you name it!

I was also hooked on The Bad Beginning (and the rest of The Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket. Loved the grim vibe in this series, and I thought that these books were unique in that not everything was cheerful and fun and upbeat like the rest of children’s fiction back in the day.

And of course, how can I not mention Harry Potter as another memorable read from my childhood!? I loved following this series over the years. I felt like I grew up with Harry, Hermione and Ron.

2005-2012

This was the rebellious phase of my life haha. As a teenager, I felt the need to……… defy convention??! and so I did NOT read any young adult books even though I fit into the young adult demographic. At this time I read a lot of literary and adult fiction. This is when I read the longest book ever, Les Miserables, (okay, probably not the longest book ever, but up there) and really developed an addiction for Stephen King and John Grisham novels.

2012-2016

During the years when I was in pharmacy school, life was so busy that I barely read anything at all besides textbooks. The sheer amount of textbooks that I had to read made me NOT want to read anything at all. At this time, I doubted that I liked reading at all, and I wasn’t sure if I will ever go back to reading ever again.

2016-2019

It was after I finished my pharmacy training when I developed a taste for fiction again. I suddenly had a lot of time, and I became hungry for stories. It was shortly after this when I started Sophie’s Corner and soon discovered the book blogging community.

When I reached for books again, it wasn’t the literary and adult fiction that I gravitated towards. Instead I gained an appreciation of the simplicity and the innocence in young adult books. Adulting was tough, and it felt good to read light-hearted and imaginative books in my spare time.

Even so, my reading tastes ebbed and flowed over the years. In my first year of book blogging, I loved YA contemporary fiction. Some of my favourites included Everything Everything, Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Then…. I think I needed a bit of a change. There was nothing wrong with YA contemporary, but I think I read too much of this genre and needed a break from it. In the second year of book blogging, I delved into YA sci-fi and fantasy. I really loved Warcross and the Six of Crows duology!

How about now? I am reading a mix of everything. This year I finally found the courage to pick up a classic novel that I’ve been putting off for ages- East of Eden– and really loved it. I also read a few adult novels (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and the Jade City series.) Of course I am still enjoying my young adult books as well!

How has your reading tastes changed over the years? What are your favourite childhood reads? Have you ever taken a break from reading?

39 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! How my reading evolved

  1. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who took a somewhat lengthy break from reading at some point in time. We’re back on track, though. Woohoo!

    My reading tastes remained more-or-less the same throughout the years. I think as a kid, I liked adventure books a bit more than today. But I’ve always loved mysteries. Of course, those were adjusted to fit my age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting to hear that your reading tastes have mostly remained the same πŸ™‚ I guess for me in general I’ve always enjoyed contemporary, fantasy, and sci-fi. I haven’t read many mystery books recently but I am curious about getting back into this genre. Are there any books that you would recommend?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Another disappointment.
        I have to say that I have not read a decent mystery in a while.
        I want a book that holds my interest throughout AND finishes strong. Also, I am tired of all the supernatural stuff, which cannot be explained with logic and reason. It’s different when everything about a book is magical, but to have a perfectly reasonable story with regular characters yet 1 thing that is “out of this world” isn’t my cup of tea. I want all or nothing. No in-betweens.
        Needless to say, I am not a professional reviewer, unlike you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s too bad that you didn’t like the book. Yeah I know what you mean in that I like it when supernatural things (like magic) are logical and follow consistent rules.
        Do you prefer high fantasy/sci-fi then, in which the world is mostly different from our own?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Interestingly enough, no. I don’t like non-fiction, but I like fiction to be as close to our reality as possible. My psychology senses are tingling then. I’m more about the plot than the descriptions of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Interesting! Plot is important to me too, along with characters. I do love great world building however it often stays in the background, so as long as the world building doesn’t stick out to me in a bad way, then I am good πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My reading tastes have certainly changed over the years, but I have always adored fantasy, and still do. For some years, I denied liking romance, because my dad thought it was such a womanly thing. (I didn’t know I was transgender back then, but I felt repulsed when someone said that activity X was womanly. Some kind of subconscious rebellion against being misgendered, I guess).

    It was sometime in my early twenties that I finally admitted that I not only liked romance, I loved it like you wouldn’t believe! Kind of obsessed with romance, tbh, despite being an aromantic myself, lol. (A friend of mine thinks that I have an intense curiosity for things that are unrelated to me, lol.)

    When I was a kid, aside from fantasy, I enjoyed reading mostly animal stories, or stories where animals were very important to the plot. Animorphs was one of my favs. I also loved something called a “survival story”, where the animal fights to survive, and succeeds. Some favorites were Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild. There were some more lighthearted animal books I enjoyed too, like Dick King Smith’s funny stories about animals, or E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (okay Charlotte’s Web isn’t THAT light-hearted), or even Babe the pig. Curious George was a delight to read too, and when I was very small, I liked the Berenstein Bears. There was a dark series called The Deptford Mice trilogy that I absolutely adored, which I mentioned in another post you read. I liked another trilogy by the same author, Robin Jarvis, that was more focused on humans but was still dark fantasy.

    Oh I went through my Jacqueline Wilson phase too, where the books are super hilarious.

    Sometime in my mid-teens or so, I suddenly switched to reading mostly Chinese books. Initially, it was to beat my best friend at the time, who was really good at Chinese. (She’s no longer a friend, due to something related to transphobia, but that’s another story.) But I got sucked into Jinyong’s martial arts stories, and became obsessed with martial arts stories in general. Later, I got into Chinese literature of all sorts, not just the martial arts stories. It might be fair to say, that by now, I have read more Chinese novels than the average native Chinese speaker who doesn’t read books outside of work and school. Not to be cynical, but most people I know, don’t like to read outside of work and school, so that is honestly a very easy standard to beat.

    Speaking of non-English books, sometime in my late teens, I read some French books, including some lit classics, because I was so proud and arrogant. French was my strongest subject back then, and by that, I mean I was always easily the top of the class. Not because I’m particularly smart, but because I grew so obsessed with this language, that I put in tons more time than my classmates did in actively learning and practicing French. I did a similar deep pouring of efforts in learning Chinese and Mandarin too, which helped to put me ahead of most of my classmates. (Yes, I know, I was very competitive back then, as my self-esteem was completely based on my grades. So sad, right? Glad I’m not like that anymore.)

    During my late teens, I did read a lot of literary classics, but I think most were in Chinese, surprisingly or unsurprisingly. When I got into my undergrad, though, I returned to reading almost completely in English, and read almost exclusively classics. My classmates in my English lit program, were amazed that I had the time to read outside of school. Well, one reason why I managed to do so, was due to sheer pride and wanting to outdo everybody. (As you can see, I had a lot of self-esteem and insecurity issues back then. Not that I have high self-esteem and feel secure now, but I’m definitely better than I was when I was younger.). I did genuinely enjoy most of the classics I read, though, so these books were not merely to show off and prove myself.

    Sometime in my mid-twenties or so, I got back into reading some Chinese books, including Huan Zhu Ge Ge. I read more martial arts stories, and even started reading some Chinese martial arts stories online (online stories). Oh yes, I forgot to mention that in my teens, I had a phase where I read a ton of fanfiction, almost all from the Teen Titans or Pokemon. In my mid-twenties, there was a time when I binge-read Pokemon fanfics shipping my favorite (gay) couples, haha.

    I had always liked mysteries and thrillers, but there isn’t a specific point where I read them. They were just scattered throughout my life. SciFi was a delight to read throughout too.

    From my mid/late-teens till now, I also enjoyed reading nonfiction books. Most nonfiction books I read, were either on literature/writing, or on psychology.

    When I was 25 or so, I got sucked into gay and trans romances, where most were contemporary, but a sizable number were fantasy, SciFi, and/or mystery. Most are adult books, but a lot were YA.

    It looks like I skipped over many major book types I read, but my comment is already so long… I’m thankful that I never stopped reading, though. Aside from my strong desire to “outdo” my peers, another reason why I managed to keep up my reading, was because I saw it as a duty, not just a pleasure. I think it’s much easier to motivate yourself to do something if it’s a responsibility as well as a pleasure. Ever since I got into my undergrad, I started seeing myself as “a writer”, so I felt that it was my job to read countless books, thus I was not allowed to make excuses to not read. Being busy with university was not an excuse either.

    My words here might sound very harsh, especially for those who were unfortunate enough to stop reading entirely or almost entirely, due to a myriad life reasons. But I’m merely describing my attitude back then, and many people who have stopped reading for years, are able to climb back on track and even surpass most of their peers. (As I mentioned before, it’s actually quite easy to surpass most of our peers, since most of them don’t even read books outside of work and school. Sorry to sound judgmental and sanctimonious, but…) Yet, even now, I have a similar attitude towards reading. I don’t need to read literally everyday, but I need to read at least a few pages almost everyday. I manage to do more than that, actually. No, I’m not a particularly fast reader, but I’m a pretty persistent and patient reader. (I think this was my main advantage from my youth: having more patience than most of my peers, and therefore outlasting almost everybody else, lol. Patience and perseverance can make up for a lot of disadvantages) And I don’t remember if I told you, but I was very lucky in that school not only did not drain my interest in reading, it actually enhanced it. The literary analysis classes, helped me to appreciate and enjoy the books I normally wouldn’t like at all. I recall some classmates complaining that analyzing a story made it less enjoyable. I had no idea what they were talking about, because analyzing stories made them more delightful for me to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sieran!
      Interesting that you used to not read any romance books, though it is one of your favourite genres now! Overall I enjoy books that have some component of romance although occasionally I like to read a romance book.
      I still think it’s awesome that you’ve read so many novels in Chinese, including literary fiction. I can imagine that the word usage in these novels are much more difficult than popular fiction?
      And of course that’s great that you’ve never stopped reading. I wished that I could go back to university and spend more time reading and writing haha πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, most of the books I read before, except for some of the kid books, had romance of some form or another. But I never really read romance as a genre until I was an adult, lol. It depends on which era of Chinese fiction you’re talking about. I read from a lot of 20th century Chinese authors, for some reason, and their language isn’t too hard to understand. Dream of the Red Chamber was written in the Qing Dynasty, and while I didn’t get some parts of it, it was mostly easy to understand. What would be really difficult, would be the much older Chinese works, the kinds that use “Wen Yan Wen,” where even the grammar is different from ours. Wen Yan Wen isn’t impossible to understand, but it definitely requires more brainwork to decode, lol.

        It sounds like you’ve more than caught up on reading and writing, though!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Harry Potter Harry Potter Harry Potter, OMG I devoured those books as a kid. I was also super into the Animal Ark series, since I loved reading about animals and basically anything to do with animals (I also read a whole encyclopedia about horses in that time frame too) and I also dabbled in the Goosebumps books but they really freaked me out when I was younger, haha! πŸ™‚ Now they don’t so much anymore. After that though I was hardcore YA and still am today. Twilight, Divergent, The Hunger Games I went through all those popular phases and then I got super into The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, and the Shadowhunter books, and then The Grisha Trilogy and now I find I’m starting to branch out to the classics like Alice in Wonderland, Little Women and The Bell Jar. Great post, Sophie! ❀ That was fun going down memory lane!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jai Lynn!
      Haha yes Harry Potter was such a hallmark of my childhood and it is still fun to reread the series πŸ™‚ I haven’t read Animal Ark although I am a big fan of horses and other animals too. I used to love Black Beauty and the Silverwing series (which was about bats haha). I saw Goosebumps in my library a LOT but was always scared to read them haha πŸ™‚
      I’ve read the first book of the Raven Cycle- still deciding whether or not to continue that series haha. That’s great that you’re reading some classics now. That’s also one of my goals for this year πŸ™‚
      Thank you ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I devoured The Babysitters Club when I was a kid. I also enjoyed the Sweet Valley Twin books. And Goosebumps….I definitely enjoyed reading those! And of course, Harry Potter. I’m still addicted to that series as an adult!

    Even as an adult, I still love to read YA. I don’t care how old I get. YA books just fascinate me. I went through The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent…still love those books to this day.

    I also read a LOT of Christian Fiction. My favorite author is definitely Karen Kingsbury. She has a series that spans over at least 20 books and I have them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leigh!
      Glad to meet another BSC fan haha. I read a bit of Sweet Valley Twin as well- those were fun! I used to see Goosebumps everywhere in the library and at bookstores but was scared to read them haha. And yes HP is still a great series to reread as an adult!
      I agree! Despite being 10 years above the “young adult” demographic I am still loving YA πŸ™‚ I enjoyed The Hunger Games and I actually haven’t read Divergent yet (I know! Where have I been??!) though I have it on my shelf haha.

      Like

  5. In my childhood, I only remember the Ramona Quimby books, Hardy Boys, the Anne of Avonlea series, and the Emily Moon books. I did read some old school teenage romance passed down from my dad’s cousin’s daughters when I got older. Then I started reading historical romances in high school. I read Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz, etc. for the longest time. But then I would only read their books and would have to wait for new books of theirs to come out. So I started getting into Goodreads and book bloggers and branched out to YA and fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stefanie!
      I read a bit of the Hardy Boys when I was a kid- those were fun. I haven’t read much of Nora Roberts books although I see them everywhere haha. Maybe I should give one of them a try?
      Glad to hear that you’ve been delving into YA and fantasy! Hope that you’ve been enjoying these genres so far? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for getting back to me haha πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely keep Nora Roberts in mind. She’s quite a popular writer so I’m curious what the hype is about!

        Like

  6. Hey Sophie!
    What a great post!
    I would definitely say that my reading style has changed, and I have four stages I went through.
    Chris Riddell Books (eg. Corby Flood)
    The Famous Five
    Jaqueline Wilson
    YA
    – Emma πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oooh it’s cool to see your reading progression through time! Haha I love that you didn’t read YA when you were in the expected YA age range…. interesting how so many adults come to YA later in life and find that they love it more than they did as teenagers!

    I’ve definitely seen my reading taste change through the years, and like you, there was a gap of a few years during late high school/early college when I barely read at all. It was around 2016 for me as well when I started finding books that I loved and reading more and more! When I was younger, I basically only read high fantasy, but in the last few years I feel like I’ve been enjoying that less and less, which is a little sad. It’s nice when I find one that really captures me like they did when I was a kid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah haha. I was a funky teenager. I remember reading a YA book and rolling my eyes haha. It’s funny that I relate to YA more so now than I did before πŸ™‚
      Sounds like we both took a pause in late high school and early college when it comes to reading. Glad that we both found our way back to reading though! I think I know what you mean.. It is harder to find a book that captivates me and immerses me in the world as much as when I was a kid (ie. HP haha)

      Like

  8. Yes I definitely have this! I was just discussing this because I used to read Goosebumps as a kids and now I run away from anything that remotely has to do with horror! I think for me I mostly alternate between contemporary and fantasy with spurts where I binge classics thrown in every once and a while. But I think it would be really interesting to actually go through my reading evolution, like you did!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes, now I avoid horror novels, horror movies, pretty much everything related to horror haha. Contemporary and fantasy are my favourites too πŸ™‚ I would love to read about your reading evolution if you’re doing a post about this!

      Like

  9. Awww I love this post Sophie!! I was wondering if I could do this too but I just don’t know if I can classify myself in these stages? I will have to think about it more… Was I always an eclectic reader? It’s neat how you’ve progressed though through YA as an adult to fantasy and now to a more eclectic mix!! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Dani! Yeah it was definitely a fun trip down memory lane haha. I would love to hear about your “reading journey” if you’re planning a post on this πŸ™‚ Thank you ❀

      Like

  10. Ahh what a lovely post, Sophie, I love seeing how our reading taste change through time. I used to read a lot of fantasy books when I was younger, and lately after a break from reading because of my studies, just like you did, I turned towards contemporaries and they’re definitely my biggest love now ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marie! It’s interesting to hear that you were a big fan of fantasy before! And sounds like we both took a break from reading. Glad that we were both able to fall in love with books again πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s such a great post, Sophie! ❀ I’m similar to you, because during the 2012-2016 time period I barely read anything and really regret that buut now I’m back into reading and it feels great 😍 I’ve always been a big fantasy fan and it only slowly happened that I got more into contemporary πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Caro!! It sounds like a lot of us bloggers took a reading break, but what is important is that we are able to fall back in love with reading πŸ™‚ I also regret not spending more time reading before, and I am so glad to be doing more reading now! That’s great that you are starting to get more into contemporary now πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The BSC! Excellent gateway books for many lovers of reading, haha. I still have a box of about 50 titles in my parent’s basement… Whenever I read about people who weren’t able to read much during their university studies, I remember to be grateful that I studied children’s literature and so my leisure reading became my ‘required’ reading πŸ˜› I like how you’ve laid this post out by certain years. I think I should take a look at my own reading from the same perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes the BSC was definitely my gateway to reading! Glad to hear that you’re a fan too. I have a small collection lying around somewhere in my old home too haha πŸ™‚
      That’s great that you were able to continue reading throughout university. If I could go back in time and do this all over again, I would definitely do this haha πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s