How I’ve Changed as a Reader this Year
Am I sick of YA fantasy?
After finishing a recent read I’ve started to wonder if I’m just growing away from YA fantasy. Lately the fantasy books that I enjoy the most are high fantasies and epic fantasies that have amazing character development and I’ve started to notice that I am not enjoying YA fantasy as much as I used to. Lately I feel like so many of the characters are just interchangeable and while these books still entertain me, they don’t wow me the way they used to.
As a reader I’m constantly changing.
Over the year my interests have changed a lot. There were periods of time where I didn’t read fantasy at all, times where I was obsessed with YA contemporary novels or science fiction. Other years when all I read were thrillers and mystery novels. I strongly believe that the more you read the more you grow as a reader and that includes changing tastes.
But is being a book blogger changing the way I enjoy reading?
Being a book blogger makes you a critical reader. You critique books on what you like and don’t like. I find it really helpful every now and then to look at my recent 5 star reads and see what they have in common. Tracking my reading habits gives me insight to my own tastes. I think being a critical reader makes me a better writer, but does it affect how much I enjoy reading?
Lately I feel that the downside of growing as a reader is that I’ve become more critical of books. Of course I am a huge mood reader, so sometimes when I read a book it just isn’t the right time for that story, but recently I’ve picked up several YA fantasies when I was totally in the mood for them and didn’t enjoy them the way that I thought I would. Or at least… the way I used to enjoy them. These are books that that get tons of praise from the community, but they just fail to hit the mark for me. Of course it could just be that these books just aren’t for me, but I can’t help but wonder if I’m growing away from YA fantasy as a reader.
Looking Back at Books I’ve Read this Year
Since it’s getting close to the end of the year I think it’s time for me to go back and look at my reading this past year and see how I’ve grown and changed as a reader. I decided to look at my 5 star reads from this year and see what they have in common.
5 Star Reads
I should be reading more high/epic fantasy
When looking back at the books I read this year I was kind of surprised by my 5 star reads. It appears that rather than growing away from YA fantasy I’m really growing TOWARDS high and epic fantasies instead. Looking back I was kind of shocked by how few books I actually gave 5 stars. What I’ve really noticed is that once again my favorite books are the long and epic fantasy novels. For some reason these books intimidate me and I wind up avoiding them even though I know that they’re my favorite types of books.
Since I read mostly YA fantasy I was shocked that there were only a handful of YA fantasies that I gave 5 stars, and when I think about my favorites from the last year none of those books are in the conversation. My favorite books were those 500 page or longer epic fantasy books that had incredible world building and character development. I knew this before and while I’m reading these books a bit more than the last time I looked through my 5 star reads, I still am intimidated by huge fantasy books.
Series I’ve Started this Year
I’ve been reading a lot more series!
One thing I’ve really loved about this year is that I’ve been reading more series. The last few years I read mostly ARCs, so I didn’t read many series. But I remembered just how much I love being able to binge read a series and follow characters through several books. I have really been enjoying reading backlist series lately and I’m always thrilled when I discover that I love the first book in a series that has many more books out. While I do read sequels of ARCs that I get, it’s just not the same waiting a year for the next book to come out.
I’ve let myself read less ARCs and more backlist
And you know what? I’ve actually enjoyed it! First off, there is less pressure to be reading what I’m “supposed” to be reading. But I’ve also been able to pick up backlist titles that I missed out on when they first came out. I have really been loving the freedom of reading back list series that have tons of hype. Or just a standalone that sounds so good!
What about you? How has your reading changed over the past year? Have you been reading more series? Have your interests changed lately? Do you find that you don’t love certain genres the way that you used to? Make sure to comment below so we can chat about how we’ve grown as readers this past year!