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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.