My reading habits have changed a lot over the years. This post reflects on some of those changes...
Initially I was all about the classics. If it wasn't a classic, I really kind of turned up my nose. Then somewhere along the time of the great reading slump that lasted for the better part of a few years, where for every one book I read, I had started and discarded twenty (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not), I started branching out. I've read so many wonderful contemporary books! YA, sci-fy/fantasy...those still aren't my thing. And that's OK. But I'm not as wholly opposed to them as I once was. If I started a good book and it happened to be YA, as long as it stayed good, I'd read it. No need to be a snob.
Further, I've stopped stressing about the slumps. I'm crazy-assed busy! I do not always have time to read. I still carry a book with me (almost) everywhere I go (mostly in case of a hostage situation), but if I don't have time to read for a few days, I usually wind up switching books because my interest has kind of petered out. If I hit a string of books that I'm just not feeling, I don't bemoan my fate or wonder whether my reading days are over. I just keep trying. Eventually, I'll find something that grabs me and keeps me.
I stopped reviewing books. I just didn't see the point in it. Books were either classics that had been talked about to death (or no one but me was interested in) or new and already super hyped, so my saying anything--especially in the book community--wasn't going to sway anybody. I'll definitely post a pic with my current read on Instagram, maybe even including a sentence about my current perception of the book.
I also talk about books differently. My boyfriend is not a reader, so I'll tell him a snippet about what's driving me crazy about the book or what I'm liking. Then, based on his follow-up questions, I go into way too much detail explaining the plot, complete with ALL THE BACKSTORY! Then I think he regrets asking any questions about the book. But I move on, he moves on.
My best friend will get the books I like or am feeling conflicted about thrust at her with a sentence--usually "Hey, read this; it's really effed up, but I kind of like it." She'll read it and send me a text saying, "WTF, Lori! This book is really effed up! But I kinda like it." To which I respond, "I know, right?! That's why I'm making you read it."
As I've gravitated toward contemporary fiction, it's less often that I'll tell my dad to read something because there are fewer books that I think he'd be interested in reading. But, interestingly, I'm more apt to tell my grandma to read things. Books that include homosexual characters (The Nest) and the c-word! (Atonement) She reads these books without much comment ("I liked it" or "That was hard to read") and returns them to me.
Like I said, nowadays I don't review books. I don't even track them on Goodreads or in a notebook. No, I sign my name and write the date I finished it on the inside cover. Then I put the book in a cardboard box in the hall closet to make room for more books. Some, however, like my Joan Didions, return to their shelves because I can't quite quit Joan...