A funny thing happened this year with my reading:
My tastes changed.
I’m not sure when it happened, but as November started to wrap up, I realized that out of the nearly 130 books that I had read in 2016, maybe a dozen were Young Adult books. For about 5 years I had been addicted to Young Adult books of many genres – dystopian, contemporary, romance, sports, etc. – but this year my reading had gone from reading about teenagers to reading about people who were more my age.
How did this happen? I have no idea! I guess my mood reading has taken me in another direction and I just started to enjoy more romances, cozy mysteries, chick lit, historicals, and paranormal books, most of which were firmly cemented in the Adult section. I’m not talking about books with more sex or anything, but just books featuring an older cast of characters. Does this mean I’m getting older? Am I growing up? Has becoming a mom changed my reading habits? But most importantly – will they go back eventually? Will I find that balance between reading adult fiction and reading young adult fiction without feeling like I’m missing something while reading the latter?
I’ve always been a huge mood reader, so the idea that my mood has changed and my preferences with it doesn’t really bug me, BUT here’s the thing: I have bought SO MANY books over the years that I still haven’t read, a lot of which are Young Adult.
This leads me to think about my book buying habits for 2017. First off, we’re going to be strictly following a budget so there’s not a lot of extra money for books. When we do budget, the husband and I do $20 each of free money, so I could always spend that on books, and I have reward points saved up for various places just for this upcoming year where I don’t have lots of extra money to spend on books. However, books are expensive, so what I have saved up in points will buy me a moderate amount of books for the year – say, maybe a dozen to 20 books tops.
Second, with the amount of books that I have on my shelf, unread, I’m left to wonder – will I read these books? Whenever I try to read a book on my shelf that’s in the Young Adult section, I’m just not feeling connected. I’m not saying this as a slight to any Young Adult authors, but the way they’re written for a younger audience just isn’t meshing with me right now. That might definitely change as the years go by so I don’t want to purge everything, but I’m also not going to buy anything that looks interesting to me.
Instead, I plan to be VERY selective in the new year. So far I have about 10 books on my wishlist for the new year by authors I’ve read and loved and any new author or book I’m not sure I’ll love will be acquired through the library. I’ll be cancelling my Audible membership this year and next year will be spent working on the books on my shelf, reading library books, and reading the books I buy AS I buy them, NOT letting them pile up (this was my plan this year but then I fell off the budgeting wagon and got waaaaay to frivolous with book buying – I can’t let this happen in 2017!). I’m also working on my NetGalley membership and not going overboard like I had done in the past, which will help keep my rating up.
I know I’ve said this before, but I know it’s possible to read widely and NOT spend lots of money on books. It does help that I’m reading more physical books now as the kids grow up and I love that I can request my library buy certain ebooks and audiobooks if they’re not available. It’s just that I have to REMEMBER that when it comes to reading a book, I don’t HAVE to buy it – instead, seek out other options first, and sleep on the purchase! One-Click buying is not my friend!
Anyway, to sum it up, my book buying in 2017 will be so much more selective than this year – though this year was MUCH better than years passed when it came to book buying. I will be buying tried and true authors, borrowing others, and sleeping on purchases BEFORE they happen. Also, I will keep an eye on NetGalley for some books that I’m really looking forward to! I won’t go overboard with book buying, NetGalley requesting, or let my TBR books pile up on me. Related, a 2017 goal is to get my owned TBR books UNDER 150.
Have your reading tastes changed over the years? Have you ever gone back to reading genres you used to read a lot of, or maybe started reading genres that you had never given a chance to in the past? Can you stick with a book buying budget? What are your tips?