My Reading History

Part Something of Some Number

Wow. It’s December 5, and I’ve completely gotten out of the habit of writing every day. Well, not out of the habit as such, but, well, I realized that I hadn’t finished posting my 24 Hours of Happy project (and I missed a couple of hours along the way, too) and now I can’t find the file it was in.

So I’ve spent the whole month so far with File Exploder* (or whatever they’re calling it nowadays) searching my entire computer in the background for the word “Pharrell.” So far it’s found some music and a backup of my blog. This is no help.

Last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I started organizing my reading projects in my head and I realized that I’ve had a lot of “phases” in my reading. The first phase I had was probably Nancy Drew starting at about 10 years old. Then I had an Agatha Christie phase. After that, was maybe gothic romance? I think that was late middle school or early high school.

Somewhere around then was my Erma Bombeck phase. I still love to reread those books.

Then it was genre fiction. Mostly it was epic fantasy with a side order of science fiction, but there was a lot of supernatural stuff, too. That phase lasted years.

I never left genre fiction entirely, but I did go back to gothic romance again. At some point, I attempted to read all of the books of Victoria Holt. I think I only scratched the surface, but I’ll have to do some digging to figure out what percentage I read. I think that might have been around the time of my Ann Rule phase.

At some point, before Amazon became a thing, I began to scare myself with how fast I was killing off the books, so I joined the History Book Club in an effort to slow myself down. I still have a bunch of books from back then that I haven’t read. I’ve got to make some decisions about them.

Then I had cancer and my reading became no longer as fast as it had been. There’s a condition known as “chemo brain” where people who have had cancer have more trouble concentrating than they did before. And that was definitely me. I left the history books behind then, because reading anything successfully was a challenge at that point and haven’t really gotten back into them. I did go back to focusing on epic fantasy, supernatural, etc. for a while.

At some point, I entered a kidlit phase. I really enjoy this in a way that kind of resembles my enjoyment of epic fantasy, but in a way, it’s actually maybe more enjoyable. I think this is because the books are shorter and they may deal in heavy topics like interpersonal relationships (not just romance, but friends, family, coworkers, etc.), trauma, etc. but they do it in a way that isn’t so traumatic. Or something like that. The other thing is that since the books are shorter, I can cover more genres. Science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, whatever. If it sounds interesting, I’ll give it a shot.

Crap. I had a historical fiction phase, too. When even was that?

When I say “phase,” I don’t mean that I read this to the exclusion of all else. Rather, it’s more like, I don’t know. I just read so many books that I don’t know if I could ever read just one genre to the exclusion of all else. I’m trying to come up with a good analogy. Or even a bad analogy. Maybe it’s like meals. You can have the same thing for breakfast every day for a long time, but you’ll still have a varied diet for lunch and dinner? I think that’s as good as it’s going to get for now.

It feels odd to have a Gratuitous Amazon Link here, since this was about books, but since I didn’t discuss any specific book, it’d be weird to shoehorn that in just so that I can have a Germane Amazon Link. Looks like Men at Arms, a City Watch book of the Discworld series is up next. Let this be a warning to anyone reading this — be careful how many books in the same series you read. You may have to end up posting links to them in your blog someday, and that will be *really* monotonous.

*I don’t know if that’s original to Thomas or if he got it from somewhere else. It certainly isn’t original to me.

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