Over time, reading habits can change. We may fall out of love with old favorites and discover new ones. Or we might change more dramatically in the very way we read. Here are ten ways my reading habits have changed over the years.
I don’t need every book immediately.
When I was growing up, I had a lot less patience. If a book I wanted was going to be published, I likely was hoping to get a copy on or near release date. Now, I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, having my hands on a book immediately is not really the most important thing to worry about in life. Besides, life is busier now, and I probably will not have time to devour the whole book in one sitting on release day, anyway.
I don’t need to read every book, novella, and spin-off in a series.
I also used to have a need for completion. If a series had 15 books, I probably wanted to read all 15 books, even if I thought the reading experience was mediocre. Now, I give myself permission to give up on series. And I certainly don’t worry about getting my hands on every novella or exclusive short story publishers want to sell to avid fans. If the content in the novella were that important that everyone needed to read it, it surely would be in the actual books in the actual series!
I DNF books.
This goes with the above point, but I used to never DNF a book. I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt. What if the whole book had to be read for someone to appreciate it fully? However, I think more experience comes with age, and I have realized that a book that I hated 100 pages in is unlikely to suddenly change and become something I enjoy 400 pages in. I still DNF very infrequently, but it is a real possibility now when it was not before.
I read shorter books.
I used to indulge very frequently in very long books like The Count of Monte Cristo or Villette. However, I have less reading time now, so it is harder for me to immerse myself in very lengthy volumes all the time.
I read graphic novels and comics.
When I was growing up, my teachers made it quite clear that comic books were not “real books” and so I never really looked into them. However, we are living in a golden age of graphic novels for middle-grade readers, and I now read these books avidly. I have also started seeing them on school reading lists, indicating a notable shift in the culture since I was in grade school.
I don’t reread all the books in a series when the latest installment comes out.
I used to reread every book in a series when the latest installment came out, so I would be prepared. These days, I simply do not have the time. I have benefited greatly from all the recaps of previous novels that used to bore me!
I’m willing to read books for little kids.
When I was a teenager, I would have been embarrassed to be seen browsing the children’s section of the library or the bookstore. Now, I read everything from picture books to middle grade books to YA and adult books with no shame. Life is too short to care what other people think about your reading choices.
I listen to audiobooks.
Growing up, I did not seek out audiobooks and I have the vague impression that maybe there were not as many, or they were not recommended as much. I did try one or two, but I didn’t like having to sit around and wait for the narrator to speak when I could read the book by myself so much faster. Now, however, I like to listen to audiobooks from time to time.
I rely less on browsing.
My preferred method of finding new books when I was growing up was to go to the library or the bookstore and simply look at the shelves, find an attractive cover, and read the summary. I might have a list of some books to look for based on reviews I found in a magazine or that were recommended by my friends, but browsing was how I found most of my books. I still love browsing, but I follow the publishing market now, so I usually go into the library already prepared with a list of books to put on hold.
I reread less.
I still reread books and am a big proponent of returning to the books I love to discover them anew. But now that I can get myself to the library, I do not have to rely on simply rereading whatever I happen to have at home. I think less immediate access to books encouraged more rereading when I was younger.
How have your reading habits changed? Did they change due to age? Blogging? Something else?