On Growing Up and Reading Tastes

I'm in the middle of a really dreary project at work -- going through rolls and rolls of old, dusty, archived drawings, but the perk of this project is that I can listen to an audiobook while I work.  So, yay!  After gobbling up Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (cute, but not as funny as Tina Fey's Bossypants), I spent my lunch break looking for another book to borrow from the library.  I stumbled across some James Patterson novels and, as I used to read a LOT of books by him, I grabbed a title that I hadn't read and hit download, then headed back into the storage room to continue my dusty project.

Well, I made it ten minutes into the story before I yanked out my earbuds, exclaimed "Yuck!" and set about finding another book to download.  Within the first opening pages of the book, there was some guy carving out some other guy's eyeballs, and I just couldn't handle it.  The funny thing is that, when I think back, I'm sure that all of the other books that I've read by James Patterson were just as equally gory, but it just didn't faze me at the time.  I found his books thrilling and would often stay up late reading just ONE MORE chapter, especially because his chapters were so perfectly short.

So what happened?  Why is one of my formerly go-to authors no longer palatable for my reading tastes?  Honestly, I think it's because my tastes change as time goes along and there are certain things that I used to read that I just don't (or, in this case, can't) read anymore.

Many years ago, I remember reading a book in the staff lunch room and my co-worker asked what the book was about.  I passed her the book so that she could read the back synopsis and, after she saw that the story centered around a child that went missing, she passed the book right back and said that, as a mom, she couldn't read stories like that.  At the time, it seemed like an odd comment because stories were a way, for me, of "experiencing" things that I knew I would never (or hoped I would never) have to experience in real life.  The best stories are the ones that could tear my heart out, stomp all over it, and leave me a breathless at the end of the journey.

Now, as a mom, I completely understand that former co-worker's statements.  My sister-in-law recommended a movie to me a few weeks ago that centered around a child abduction and she said that the acting and the story was incredible.  I told her that there was no way I could watch a movie like that and immediately flashed back to that conversation in the lunch room so many years ago.  Now that I know what it's like to love my little son with all my heart and soul, I just know that there are certain types of stories that I just won't read again.

How about you?  Have you found that your reading tastes have changed as time has gone by and there are certain things that you just can't read anymore?  Or maybe certain things that you couldn't read before and now you can't stop reading?  Leave me a comment below!


  1. I see what you mean; there are several things in entertainment that I can not longer enjoy. I think at a certain point, part of the enjoyment was filling a bit of a grown up (watching Nip Tuck comes to mind) back then but right now watching or reading something like that would no longer have any thrill.
    There are also books that I could read as easily as I did before,, now if I read them I would be like "meh, it was fine". It could be because I could outgrown the subject, but I also think it might be because my reading has expanded and so I have more points to compare it. Great post by the way.


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