Thursday, June 5, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Trends

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Today's Booking Through Thursday asks:

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?

Want to play? You can leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments at Booking Through Thursday.

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I don't think my books tastes have changed too much through the years, with some exceptions. I have to admit that I did read some trashy novels in my teens: the whole Flowers in the Attic phenomenon comes to mind. I definitely went through my share of Danielle Steele and the like. I also loved horror novels, especially Stephen King and John Saul. I was all over books like The Amityville Horror and Rosemary's Baby. John Saul creeped me out for years. My mother must not have known what I was reading.

I'd say I started gravitating more toward classic literature at about age 16. By age 20 I was solidly immersed in the Good Literature. I was fortunate to have an amazing humanities program (two years, required) at my college, and classic lit was well covered. Of course I was also an English major, and so my exposure to literature was vast. I really am going somewhere with this--where was it?

Oh yes, classics. I was madly in love with Wharton, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Cheever, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Ann Porter, Dreiser, Thomas Wolfe, the Bronte sisters, Austen, DH Lawrence, Shakespeare, Chekhov , Dostoevsky, Kafka--oh, all those and so many more. To say them all now brings back actually visions of the books themselves, the words on the page.

But.

I find myself now thinking, "I should read Faulkner again. I should re-read all the Steinbecks. It's been years since I last read Wuthering Heights..." And yet, until this past year, I haven't re-read any of my old favorites. Books I was once crazy about. I think part of me was afraid that I would be disappointed--that my happy memories of these authors would be tainted if I re-read something and found....I didn't like it anymore.

Happily, I taught an American Lit class this year, and in doing so I re-read many classics. And even more happily, I can say that I enjoyed each one even more than I did the first (and for many, second and third and even fourth) time.

So here's my answer: my reading tastes have changed. I've eliminated some genres and become more selective in some ways. I read more non-fiction that I used to, although I haven't read much this year. I am more often disappointed than I used to be.

4 comments:

Melody said...

Oh, I love John Saul's books! Nowadays, it seems like a long time to have one of his books released... I really miss his books!

gautami tripathy said...

I do re-read certain books. I must have Wuthering Heights at least 10 times!

Katherine Ann Porter,

Peta said...

It's so interesting that you mention being almost scared of re-reading the classics that you loved when you were younger. I am quite positive that I'd not enjoy some of my "teen-reads" these days but I really should re-visit others.

Hurrayic said...

Thanks for your sweet comment about the salad - hope you enjoy it. Glad you commented - now I found your blog. I love to read. I wouldn't say my tastes have changed (well, maybe a little) but I think my time has changed and what I read is sometimes determined by the amount of time and what we're doing. Since I've homeschooled, I find a LOT of my reading is geared towards that. And I would like to re-read the classics now that I can 'understand' and appreciate them more. I do like reading nonfiction more.