But my reading habits over the years have changed and, in some cases, have circled back around again. In my early school years and into middle school, I had a taste for fantasy Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, The Borrowers, Miss Hickory, and fairy tales of all stripes, including the scary ones were some of my favorites. I read those when everyone else was on to Nancy Drew and horse books (it was a thing for girls in the sixties), and a friend once told me that I read "weird stuff." I also read all the Little House books during these years (and reread them several times more in later years).
I graduated to romance (sometimes) when a teacher introduced me to Jane Eyre. I went on to read Wuthering Heights and romances geared toward teens (does anyone else remember that Beverly Cleary of Beezus and Ramona fame, also wrote teen romance novels)? These were also my Louisa May Alcott years. I was such a fan that a teacher refused to give me any more extra credit for reading her books. I didn't care. What was extra credit compared to reading a favorite author?
Then I segued to books I considered to be "important books" as well as popular contemporary novels. This was back in the late sixties, and I've forgotten a bunch of them, but I distinctly remember reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and some Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream comes to mind). Of course, high school brought on a lot of required reading, but when given a choice of an author to key in on in depth, I chose Thomas Hardy. Later, a college professor told me that I must be a very depressing person if I could read one Hardy novel after another. I suspect (don't quite remember) that I started with Far from the Madding Crowd, which isn't quite as down as some others and then went on from there. At any rate, this was probably my most pretentious era (although I will confess that between 7th and 8th grade, I discovered a bag of my mother's Harlequin Romances and I devoured them. I also latched on to Lucy Walker, who wrote Australian Outback romances).
College, where I was studying to be a teacher, brought me back to children's literature (I loved the kiddie lit course where we were supposed to read something like 105 books) and this was where I discovered Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, which I still love and have on my shelves. Still, romance was never far away. This was the era of the Gothic romance (Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart...). My mother read them and then I borrowed hers.
And then the romance world broke open. In the years that followed, sex was suddenly allowed in romance novels. Historical romance novels became popular. I discovered authors then that I still reread today (LaVyrle Spencer, Jude Deveraux, Pamela Morsi, Mary Balogh were favorites ,just to name a few).
But I still (and always) came back to children's novels, most especially fantasy (Cornelia Funke's Inkheart series, Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, any of the Rick Riordan mythology-based series, Harry Potter, books by Neil Gaiman). It's all good.
What's your reading history?
Share if you like, and if you don't like...just enjoy whatever genre you're reading right now!