I turned 30 yesterday (sorry, I’m telling everyone) and it’s made me both slightly melancholic (I’m at my happiest while sad…) and introspective.
Which obviously meant I began to think about how my reading has changed over the years that I’ve consumed books almost obsessively.
Which lead me to The Common Reader Effect.
The Common Reader Effect (I’ve no idea if this exists already, I was too lazy to Google) is the effect of vast book consumption has on a person’s enjoyment of types of literature. It’s named after A Common Reader by Alan Bennett, which I’m assuming you’ve read and if not you should. It’s a short story about the Queen becoming a devoted reader and neglecting her duties. The more the Queen reads the more she is able to appreciate more ‘complicated’ works of fiction. Books she read at the beginning of her journey, that she struggled through, are now a whole new place of wondrous discovery.
Which is also what has happened to me, minus being a Queen (or am I?*). The more I’ve read over the last five or six years the more my reading tastes have changed.
Take Dracula by Bram Stoker. I began to read it for University during a course on Horror, but never finished it – which in hindsight was a stupid educational decision. In May I decided I had to try reading it again and I loved it. I understood what I hadn’t before, themes popped out, I became excited for the story to unfold where previously it all seemed a bit slow.
It’s made for glorious reading experiences, I get to experience quick emotional payoff with YA and general fiction, and get longer intellectual payoff from Literary Fiction and Classics. It’s great.
Has this happened to you?
How has your reading taste changed over your years of reading?
* I’m not.