The Age of Childhood Mysteries: Age 2-9
If you are my age, you probably read some of these, too. The Bobbsey Twins. Trixie Belden. Phyllis Whitney mysteries for children. My mom was my chief reading advisor at the time and she loved mysteries as a child, so this genre was no surprise.
The Age of Gothic Novels: Age 10-14
Does anyone read these any more? Do you even know what a gothic novel is? A young-ish woman goes to live in a scary place with a handsome but mysterious man. Dorothy Eden. Victoria Holt. Mary Stewart. Phyllis Whitney gothics for adults. Again, my mom guided most of my reading. She liked gothics, so I liked gothics.
The Age of Classics: Age 14-17
My wonderful high school English teachers put me onto classics. With a few exceptions (boo, Heart of Darkness), I got easily hooked after reading Animal Farm, It Can't Happen Here, Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Death of a Salesman, The Bell Jar, Metamorphosis, and Magister Ludi.
I became obsessed with The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry when I was eighteen. I read it over and over. And over.
Then I met my husband and discovered science fiction. Please don't think I'm talking about fantasy; this was real science fiction. Nothing contemporary either. Old science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Fritz Leiber, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon.
The Age of Children's Picture Books: Ages 28-35
I bet you can guess why my focus changed. Yep, it's all my Jonathan and Benjamin's fault.
I will never stop reading picture books.
The Age of Literary Fiction and Nonfiction: Ages 35-Now
This happened serendipitously. I did some work in League City, a town near me, and I stopped one day at the League City Library. I wish I could write the librarian from back then a letter and thank her. She knew how to pick some amazing literary fiction and nonfiction, and it completely upped my game.
That's my movement through the genres. How about you? Have you changed what you read over the years? Or have you pretty much stuck with one genre as the years have passed?
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