Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Have your reading habits and tastes changed over the years?

Have your reading tastes changed over the years? I've been reading romance for a very long time - since my teens and when I started, I was reading Mills & Boon historical romances, along with a lot of Johanna Lindsey books. Those were what was available at my local library. My reading tastes for romance have changed since then and today, I thought I'd chat about how they've changed for a bit. Hopefully, I can get my thoughts to come out coherently.

Splendid by Julie Quinn  The Perfect Wife by Victoria Alexander  More Than A Mistress by Mary Balogh

Over the years, I fell in love with Regency London and I read a lot of stories set in that era. Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, Mary Balogh to name a few. There were some that stood out to me - Andrea Pickens had a series of female spies set in the Regency era. It was very bold and exciting and I loved it. I also loved Anna Campbell's early bolder, edgier Regencies. Those took my breath away.

While I was reading all those Regency romances, I also discovered paranormal. Back in the day, they were not as prevalent as they are now and I didn't have many authors to choose from. I read a few slightly paranormal ones by Nora Roberts, a few vampire and witchy stories by Maggie Shayne and I discovered Laurell K Hamilton. I remember loving her Anita Blake series and finding it so refreshing until it devolved into a big orgy-fest. I think I might have stopped reading the series around book nine or ten. There was too much sex and not enough story.

Born In Fire by Nora Roberts  Eternity by Maggie Shayne  Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton

Since then I've discovered a myriad of sub-genres in romance that I love. These days my tastes tend along the lines of (not in any particular order) paranormal, romantic suspense, sci-fi, erotic and some contemporary romance. I hardly read any historical romances these days and when I do, it usually has to be something a bit unusual and not your typical Regency debutante looking for a husband on the marriage mart. I even wrote a blog post about how I like unconvential historical Regency romances at one point.

I've always loved a lot of spice in my romances, even from as far back as I can remember. I remember the Mills & Boon stories being very "behind closed doors" and "fade to black" and I would want to know what happened behind those closed doors - the teenage me was very curious! These days with erotic romance being a lot more mainstream, the heat and spice levels in romances has shot through the roof and I love it. While I read the whole gamut from sweetly romantic from the Harlequin Romance line by authors like Liz Fielding and Kandy Shepherd, I also love the uber sexy stuff by Lily Harlem, and everything in between, like the sexy stories by Juliette Cross and Rhenna Morgan. I do not apologise for loving plenty of heat and explicit sex in my stories. I love the new Entangled Scorched line which is purely erotic romance and I'm excited about  the new Harlequin Dare line which is supposed to follow a similar path of sexiness.

Dating Her Boss by Liz Fielding  Crown Prince's Chosen Bride by Kandy Shepherd  Master Of Her World by Lily Harlem

As for the length of my books, you'd think now that I no longer work full time, I'd have more time to read. But books seem to be coming out faster and faster and where I used to have to wait a year or two between books from my favorite authors, now authors seems to be coming out with at least two, three or four books a year. It's hard to keep up but I'm not complaining. The more books the better!! Also, with a book blog, there is a lot of demand on my reading time. While I used to love longer books of between 300 to 400 pages, I find now I prefer books around the 200-page mark.

I am finding that I get impatient with the progress of my reads and I want the pacing of the stories to be snappy. Like my movies, I want my books to get to the action quickly and then keep the pace as I race to the finish. While I do enjoy longer books from some of my favorite authors, it tends to be because they know how to pace a book and keep the action snappy. I now think twice when I see a long book and have to decide if I want to invest the time into reading the book because I'm time poor and I'm impatient. Not a good combination. That said, books published these days are getting shorter too. There are so many books coming out between 100 and 200 pages these days.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh  When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz  Hunted By The Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Of course, my go-to authors, I will pretty much-read anything they write and disregard the length of the book too. These include Nalini Singh, Thea Harrison, Jayne Ann Krentz (and her Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle names), as well as Juliette Cross, Lily Harlem, Cara Bristol and many, many others. In fact, one of my favorite series has uber long books, and that's the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. That said, as good as they are, I'm not prepared to tackle the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon yet. I read the first three books when they originally came out (yes, I'm showing my age!!) but haven't picked them up since.

So that's me and the changes to my reading tastes and habits over the years. What about you? Do you still read the same things you've always read, enjoyed the same genres and authors, or have your reading habits changed too? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. I picked up Cujo by Stephen King when I was 16 years old. That was the first book I read for my own pleasure and I loved it. I read nothing but Horror for the next 8 years or so and then my mom brought over a huge box filled with Historical Romance books. I was actually going to give them away and then I picked one up and started reading and I loved it. I read historicals for a while until I found Paranormal Romance and I've been reading that the most ever since.

    1. How interesting. Do you venture out of paranormal romance much these days?

  2. This is such a cool post, and many of the authors you've mentioned, I've read over the years. I started out with romances from Barbara Cartland, then switched it up with The Godfather and other similar reads. After that, I devoured anything from Stephen King and Jude Deveraux. Then I moved on to historicals, and stayed there for years. Then it was contemporary Harlequin romances, and for about 2 years I read paranormals,which of course included the great JR Ward and Christine Feehan and just about any erotic romance, including BDSM. In addition to reading for fun, I also reviewed many different genres for 3 years. Now I read spy or suspense novels pretty exclusively, but that doesn't mean my TBR pile doesn't continue to grow in every type of genre. (lol) Hugs...RO

    1. Oh yes, I remember reading Barbara Cartland. I even watched all the movies I could get my hands on. :-)

  3. What a great post I have been reading since I could read as a child I loved anything LOL as a teenager I loved Agatha Christie and romance magazines then there were the Harold Robins, Jacqueline Susan and the Heir to Falconhurst books then there were a lot of early Australian sagas the convicts and their lives then my mother gave me Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love and I was lost to historical romance I read them all Johanna Lindsay, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Shirlee Busby, Samantha James and moved onto everyone :) but back in 2009 when I attended the first ARRC everything changed again and now I read lots of romance genres and I am love Womans Fiction as well :)

    Have Fun


  4. Gosh, yes. I'm 60 something now and have been reading forever. Early teens was reading James Bond, a copy of Suzie Wong i found hidden ( quite tame really!) and Barbara Cartland. Christina Lafeaty, Barbara Ovstedal are early memories. Also Jilly Cooper, originally published in magazines. Evelyn Anthony, Mary Stewart and Anya Seton, plus Jane Aiken Hodge were faves too. Mills and boon, esp early Australian romances figured too.
    Moved onto the early bodice ripper romances and native American were a fave. Georgina Gentry, Dana Ransom. Lots of the books in the Zebra line.
    Bit of a hiatus in 30s and can only remember Watership Down plus early Jackie Collins. Still continue to read her, plus Jilly Cooper.
    Then discovered Anne Rice and still into paranormals. Plus Tanith Lee, Poppy Z Brite,
    I also read the first three Diana Gabaldon books but lost interest after that!
    Early sci-fi/fantasy faves were the Crystal Singer trilogy by Anne McCaffrey and Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Couldn't get into any other Anne McCaffrey books though.
    Susan Grant was an early sci-fi rom favourite
    These days am into sci-fi, mysteries, military, Queer fiction, scandi noir. I'll read anything by KJ Charles, Jordan L Hawk, Barbara Erskine, Jacqueline Winspear, Cat Sebastian, Allison Brennan, Lara Adrian, Veronica Scott, Cara Bristol, Cynthia Sax, Anna Hackett, Sara Paretsky, Kaylea Cross, Lynn Raye Harris, Camilla Lackberg, Yrsa Sigardurdottir, Christine Feehan, Nora Roberts/JD Robb

    1. Wow! Yeah, I remember the Zebra line books. They were such a revelation to me back in my younger days or romance reading. I've never read Jackie Collins.