How the Reading Taste Evolves

genreMy reading taste has evolved immensely since I started loving to read in the third grade. (Thankfully). Some of you may know that the reading bug hit me with Treasure Island, but I never pursued another book similar to that genre.

My obsession turned to children’s literature (appropriate considering the fact that I was in fact, a child).

I only read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series. My mother would try to offer different choices but I just shook my head at her and pointed at the next Nancy Drew book to add to the shopping cart.

You see, my thinking was that since I loved these kind of books I couldn’t possibly like a different genre that wasn’t in any way similar to MY books. Why should I even try them out?

Don’t worry I moved on. I left elementary school for the scary and new middle school where there were no swing sets. My mother had been trying to get me to read Harry Potter forever but of course I would just say, “Why? There’s a new Goosebumps book right there!” She took me to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the movie theater which convinced me to give the book a try. Low and behold, a new obsession was born.

My new obsession was fantasy

I hungered for Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and the His Dark Materials trilogy. If it didn’t have magic, talking animals or dragons then it simply wasn’t a book worth reading. My mom would shake her head at this and I would shake my head back. She didn’t get it. She would read anything. But I was a one genre kinda gal.

So I survived middle school in one piece and moved on to the even scarier high school. My freshman year (please try not to judge me on this part) the Twilight fever hit.

New obsession: Paranormal Romance

Yes I am admitting to hopping on the train of the Edward craze. Soon after that I was reading everything that promised angst and love triangles. (Mortal Instruments– I’m looking at you). Simply because, love triangles were SO original and SO realistic and was made all the better if there was a mythical creature involved. “No.” I would tell my mother, “I don’t want to read that, I want to read this one about this girl who falls in love with this vampire.”

Which one, she would say.

Towards the end of my high school career I had to read The Kite Runner for my English class and was utterly captivated by the novel. I immediately went to my mom and demanded she read the book, “It will change your world,” I said, “Read it!”

She laughed.

Of course she had read The Kite Runner already and loved it so much that she not only owns it but also A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini’s other novel. But this isn’t why she laughed.

She laughed because here I was telling her to read a book. Telling HER! When she had recommended hundreds of books to me over the years and every time I would just stick up my nose at her and say no.

Needless to say, I got a taste of my own medicine.

I learned to broaden my taste. When someone recommended a book I would take the time to read it. As a result I have discovered a love for historical fiction, science fiction and classical literature. I’m also going to try horror very soon for which I am both excited and scared about, but nonetheless I’m going to try it, because my mother recommended it and she has never led me astray.

Every time my taste developed it was forced because of my stubbornness and snobbery. If my mother had never made me try other books I could still only be reading Goosebumps books today.

I’ve noticed that not only am I better reader for it, but I’m a better person for it too. My views on life have broadened dramatically and I’ve learned an incredible amount of interesting things that I never would have from Twilight.

Now, I’m not trying to take away anything from those genres. I still enjoy young adult novels, I’m just happy that along with City of Bones on my bookshelf I also have The Pillars of the Earth.

I also know that it’s perfectly okay for someone to only like one genre. As long as people are reading, we should be happy.

I just know that I am so grateful for all those times others broadened my reading taste. Does anyone else feel this way? Comment below and let me know! Happy reading!