Friday, November 4, 2016

Reading habits

by Liz Flaherty


I only have to look in the mirror to see how things have changed over the years. Gravity has taken a terrible toll; my hair color is a day-to-day adventure; even when I'm wearing my thin clothes (which I haven't for a few years), they don't fit the way they used to; the pedicure that used to be a fun luxury is close to being a necessity; I start each day by emptying a slot in a plastic pill case like my grandmother used to use.

The truth is that I don't mind any of that. What I mind is how my reading habits have changed.

I can remember reading at least seven books a week. A trip to Walmart to pick up the month's offerings of Precious Gems and Harlequin Americans would set me up. I would start a book on my lunch hour at work and finish it before I went to bed that night. I read while I cooked, while I folded laundry, in the car while I waited for the kids, and while the family watched television. I read series romance, and sometimes on the weekend, I would read several in one day. If I had an auto-buy, a Muriel Jensen or a Nora Roberts or a Janet Dailey, sometimes I'd read them twice within the week.
There were many days I had to force myself to stop reading so I could write.

But now...now it's different. And even though books are different now, too, I know the habits have changed because I have. Because, for the most part, the 20-something protagonists don't interest me and I can't identify with the 30-something ones (I had a houseful of teenagers in my 30s and had been married since I was 20.) There aren't enough older ones--a subject we've talked about a lot--and I've grown so picky that I meet most of the trends in romance with a heartfelt "meh." I don't finish at least as many books as I do, something else that has changed for me.

I don't have any magic answers here, or Happy Endings to my quandary. I guess I wonder if others are in the same reading boat I am.

All this complaining aside, I'm glad for the holiday stories that abound right now. I've already read a ton of them and have a couple of my own out there (see covers below). Makes me wonder, though, what I'm going to read come January.




14 comments:

  1. My reading habits have changed since I began writing my own books. Now my laptop goes everywhere with my instead of my current read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take both, although my Kindle is often never "opened."

      Delete
  2. Like you, I can't identify with the twenty somethings in today's romance novels. I have found several LGBT authors who write about older heroines as well as self published books for my Kindle. I highly recommend the Never to Late series by Donna McDonald.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Angie! I recommend Nan Reinhardt's Women of Willow Bay series, too. They're all "of a certain age" and fun to read.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathleen. I'm glad to have it right, but I hate how it is!

      Delete
  4. You can read Christmas all year, Liz! I'm probably the same age as you, but I still like reading about falling in love. Sex, not so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I do, too. It's why I write sweet these days, because I like reading it, too.

      Delete
  5. Mine have changed a lot, too. The most surprising for me is that I don't enjoy suspense as much as I used to. As I get older, it stresses me more. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although suspense was never a favorite of mine, I did read some, and now I read hardly any, for that very reason! I want to be entertained, not upset. :-)

      Delete
  6. Liz, I'm writing more "seasoned" romance. Check out my heroine Liz. She's in her 50's. In the Prequel to Bluegrass Homecoming, my hero is 66. And I find time to read now during lunch. I take my iphone to a downtown restaurant and read while I eat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do that, too. Even at dinner, the dh watches TV and I read. I'll read them, Jan!

      Delete
  7. Liz...I've actually started to read more. I think I need the escape from the contentious politics I can't escape otherwise.

    And I'm not even American...but Canadian! I literally need to read every night before bed or my mind goes to very dark outcomes for the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I have buried myself in old books by Miss Read this past few weeks, and enjoyed them immensely. I needed me some innocence!

      Delete

Subscribe to this Blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner