Chatty Cathys

Talk Amongst Yourselves: When Tastes Change

I’ve always, ALWAYS loved fantasy. Fairy tales, monsters, epic battles, quests, magic… if it falls under the “fantasy” category, I’m in! I’ve also had a major soft spot for vampire books, especially when vampires aren’t sparkly lovey-dovey beings. It’s no surprise when I look at my bookshelves and see tons of fantasy, paranormal, epic stories lining those shelves.

So why have all the books I’ve been wanting to read lately been contemporary?

It’s seemed like over the past few months I’ve been slowly edging out fantasy and replacing it with contemporary. I’m starting to reach for the next Dessen or Ockler book instead of my normal fantasies. My shelves are starting to fill up with contemporaries, slowly edging my fantasies out. When I start recommending a book, I immediately suggest a contemporary instead of a fantasy, no matter what kind of reader I’m talking to!

This is not cool!

So what’s brought on this change? I have a few theories:

  1. The Selective Collective – As a group we’ve started to realize that we LOVE when we review contemporaries. We’ve gotten to read some great ones – Eleanor & Park, The Summer I Became a Nerd, Book of Broken Hearts – so I think this is one of the main reasons I’m starting to prefer contemps. I’ve finally found ones I REALLY love rather than ones that are just over-dramatic.
  2. Summertime – Admit it: summertime SCREAMS contemporaries. I’ve always had trouble paying attention to deeper fantasy books when I read them laying out at the pool or at the beach, but with easy breezy contemps I soak them up like the sun! I also feel more inclined to read lighter books in the summer, and it’s rare that I come across a fantasy novel that’s both light and enjoyable (exception: Poison).
  3. Burnout – I think it’s easy to get burnt out on anything, but reading dark, deep, serious book after book after book can definitely lead to major burnout. I think that’s where I am. While I still love fantasy, I feel like it’s becoming rarer that I come across a fantasy novel that just blows me away. Contemporaries still seem to be fresh to me, so it’s easy to escape into them.

Do you ever deal with this? What do you do when your favorite type of books are slowly becoming NOT your favorite type of books?

I’m a HUGE seasonal reader, so I feel like this is just natural. I like to reread books in the summer, pick up lighter things, take major reading breaks… I can’t deal with the heavy when the weather is so hot I can barely breathe! But this trend started months ago. So is there another reason?

Recently I ran across a comment someone made about how she had outgrown a series in the time that it took for the whole series to come out. Maybe that’s what’s happening to me… I’m starting to outgrow my fantasy books. (NOOOOOOOO!)


But since I don’t like that option, maybe I just haven’t come across a new one that has been mind-blowing. And not even so much mind-blowing but that deep, feel it in your gut falling in love with a book. The last one I felt like that over was Dark Triumph and I just haven’t found that again. I NEED it. But yet… I’m feeling so blah about fantasies that I don’t want to go looking for it.

We’ve all got our go-to genre, but do you ever feel like you just can’t read another book in it? Or maybe you’ve started to feel like all the good ones are tapped out? What do you do to combat this?

Maybe we do outgrow certain books or maybe as we develop as readers our tastes do change. I for one didn’t read a ton of contemps before blogging, but now I do and I feel like while I’ll always have a special place in my heart for fantasy, I’m starting to develop another special place for contemps.


12 thoughts on “Talk Amongst Yourselves: When Tastes Change”

  1. I totally get this! I think it’s mostly burnout for me though. And actually it’s the exact opposite genres for me! I used to love contemporary, but I find that I’ve been preferring fantasy a lot more recently. I wonder if life circumstances also plays a role?


  2. This happens to me a lot. I tend to go through phases. I love most YA and will usually read one after the other but every now and then I just get sick of all the stupid romances and high-school angst and then have to spend a while reading more adult books. It never lasts long though!


  3. I think you constantly evolve and change as a reader. I never really read fantasy as a kid except HP but grew into more recently. I’m starting to feel a bit burnt out on fantasy and have been reading more contemporary books. Will I give up fantasy books? No way. I’ll just take it easy on them for a while. I know I’ll get a craving for them again.

    I try not to worry about not loving a certain type of book at the moment because I know I’ll get a craving for it soon enough.


  4. This is so weird! I mentioned this in the review I wrote last night for The Distance Between Us (amazing contemp if you haven’t read it). I’ve always been a paranormal/dystopian girl but lately I just want to read contemporaries. I think mine is due to summer time, burn out and the fact that The Distance Between Us was so great! I like this post!


  5. I can so relate to this. All I want to read is contemporary, when it wasn’t too long ago I was all about dystopia! Agreed contemporaries and summer go together perfectly 🙂


  6. Sometimes you just need to rotate through what you’re reading, change things up, and add new spice. I find once I find the right book in a genre I haven’t explored in a while, it rekindles the excitement.


  7. I totally agree! I got into YA BECAUSE of dystopians and now I find myself reading soooo many more contemps! I guess we’re just finding a new niche 🙂 And summer, of course. It totally makes me lean to contemps!


  8. I’ve always leaned more toward contemporary novels. I like the occasional paranormal/fantasy/dystopian–but I’ve always preferred comtemps. What I’ve started moving away from is chick-lit. I’ll still pick up the newest book of a favorite author like Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, or Emily Giffin, but I rarely pick up a chick lit book if I’m not familiar with the author. Summer books are my favorite. I love the fluffy, romantic, fun books that come out in the summer. Great post!


  9. What a great discussion post. My tastes have definitely changed throughout my reading years. For example, I used to read mostly mysteries in high school. Why? Because that’s what my mom reads, and so I followed in her footsteps. But you know what? I don’t read them at all anymore. Then I was really into romance, both historical and contemporary. And although I do still love romance, I don’t read them much at all anymore. Then I was really into kids books (which isn’t a genre, but still), and now I’m into YA books (again, not a genre). I think everyone’s tastes change as life happens, and we gain new experiences and new interests. I think this has also happened in the types of TV shows I watch. My favorites now are the half hour comedies. I rarely stick with hour long tv shows nowadays, where they used to be my favorites.

    But I also think that just because a certain genre doesn’t appeal to you now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get back into in the future. For example, I had really lost interest in adult romance, but lately, I’m back into them. Not like I was, but I’m enjoying them again, and discovering new authors.

    One other thing, about all the contempt that you’ve been loving. I also think that SO MANY contempt have been released over the last year or so in YA. Not that there hasn’t always been good contemps, but for awhile, I think so many kick ass fantasy was being released.


  10. I think it’s natural for our tastes in reading to change! I too am a diehard fantasy lover, but the series/books that impress me in the genre are far and few in between lately. Instead of approaching my new love for contemporaries and middle grade and classics as a shift in my tastes, I just consider it as expanding my palette. It’s fun to have a variety of reading choices to pick from – and it ensures that reading always stays interesting and fun!


  11. I love this meme and the photo of Coffee Tawlk! For me I’ve never been a fan of fantasy or paranormal, which makes me rather odd in the book world. I love contemporary and I continue to love it, because I find people so fascinating that I don’t need supernatural beings to interest me. But one way my tastes have changed is that I once thought of YA as something that wouldn’t interest me, and now I adore YA and NA.


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