You know the drill: TTT is a weekly themed post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is “Changes In My Reading Life (Maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now).” At first I thought this would be difficult, but once I started writing, I realized there have actually been a lot of changes for me, both recently and from childhood to now. I tried to link in a few more of my past reviews and posts for this, so…take a look at them, maybe? 😊
1. Indian authors
This is weirdly specific, but the past several years, I’ve been reading a lot of Indian authors, especially ones who write about India or the Indian-American experience. Some of that is because I took a class on post-colonial Indian literature in college, but I guess it sparked more interest for me as well! Quichotte, for example, was one of the best books I read this year.
2. Less mystery
As a kid, I absolutely loved all mysteries. My favorites included the A to Z Mysteries, all of the Boxcar Children books, the American Girl History Mysteries, and (please don’t laugh) the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Mysteries series. I still like a healthy dose of mystery in the books I read, but I can’t even remember the last time I read a book that was straight-up mystery. If you include mystery-thrillers, then I guess The Last Time I Lied would count. That was several months ago, and it was on audiobook.
I will admit, I used to be kind of a snob about audiobooks. I thought they were “fine, but not for me.” A literary purist, or whatever. Now, they make up probably about a third of my reading, because they let me absorb books while commuting and doing mundane tasks! They’re a tad harder to review, but I like writing mini-reviews for them!
4. Graphic novels
Similarly, I didn’t really “do” graphic novels as a kid, with the exception of Captain Underpants (which is, was, and always will be an iconic series). After elementary school, I don’t think I read one until my senior year of college, when I was assigned one for a class on Asian-American literature. I still haven’t read a ton, but I have picked up a few that have become absolute favorites, including On a Sunbeam (which is beautiful and imaginative and sapphic and adorable) and Watchmen (which is smart and dark and mind-boggling).
There is a narrative to this one. See, in kindergarten, one of the most exciting days for me was the day we were finally allowed into the Nonfiction section of our school library. Every day I would check out a new book. For some reason, though, my topics of choice were usually either insects or natural disasters. Finally, my mom told me that I needed to read something “happier,” so I tried some Doctor Seuss, and then some fantasy and mystery books, and from there, all hope was lost. But lately, I’ve been creeping back into the world of nonfiction, from sociology to history to humorous memoirs.
6. Diverse authors
Some of this is because there are simply more diverse authors getting picked up by major publishing houses, but I have also become more aware of the importance of reading books about characters who aren’t necessarily like you. As a kid, I would read books about characters who were like me (read: white girls) who I could pretend to be, or could aspire to be like as I got older (I desperately wanted magic powers…). Now, I try to make an effort to expand my horizons, with authors of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, abilities…and I am making a point of finding more #OwnVoices rep, like Spin the Dawn, which I adored, and Pet, which has been up for several awards this year.
Up until last year, I was really reluctant to give up on books I didn’t love, because I still wanted to finish them. In my mind, the only “acceptable” reason to DNF was having to return the book to the library before I was done. Then I realized that there are so many good books out there, it isn’t worth it to spend time on ones you’re not really feeling, especially if it is keeping you from reading something you’ll love more. It has been a really healthy shift of mentality for me.
8. Buying books
I don’t have a great reason as to why. I don’t exactly have the space or the money, but here we are. All of you folks in the book blogging community are a bad influence 😂
I started really taking reviews more seriously earlier this year, and I love it. Sometimes it is stressful, but I love being able to put my thoughts on books into a more lasting form, and knowing that somebody, somewhere, might be reading and appreciating my thoughts.
To wrap up on a related note, I hadn’t heard of ARCs until I started getting into the online book community, mostly on Facebook at first. Once I knew what they were, I decided I wanted them, especially because I was trying to review more. Now my NetGalley account is thriving, I’m entering (and, shockingly, winning) giveaways, especially on Goodreads, and I’m getting super jazzed about books even before their official releases.
Bonus #11: Blogging
I think this one is self-explanatory. I started seriously blogging here in August, and it has been one of the biggest (and best) changes to my reading life yet, thanks in no small part to all the lovely people here. Thanks, y’all 💜
So what about you?
Have you done any of these? Got any major shifts in your reading life? Let’s chat in the comments (emoji)
P.S. Is anyone else here a fan of The Struts? The title of this post was a reference to one of their songs, but I realized like 95% of people wouldn’t recognize it…