In a conversation with a friend a while back, I commented that as a reader she probably read a lot more than I did as a writer. I USED to read a lot more for pleasure than I do now–now the books I read tend to be viewed as research. “How did XXX author handle this type of scene? How did they craft the first few pages so the reader knew what type of world they were in” type reading. (I’m told that the longer I write, the pleasure of reading for the sake of reading without dissecting the craft will return.)
Personally I tend to go in fits and spurts. I spent 2002-2005 reading fantasies, all of 2006 and half of 2007 was devoted to historicals. I’d find an author and devour her backlist. If she’d had an anthology I’d read the other authors’ stories and decide if I liked them and stockpile theirbacklist as well. Lately, I’ve been all over the board but the books that have given me the pleasure of making me forget to dissect them have all been contemporaries (Shannon Stacey‘s Exclusively Yours, Victoria Dahl‘s Talk Me Down/Start Me Up/Lead Me On series, Lauren Dane‘s Laid Bare/Coming Undone Brown Family series. And of course Lorelei James‘ Rough Rider and Wild West series. I mustn’t forget to mention that I own every single one of Lynsay Sand’s Argeneau family series — most of which are based in….wait for it…Ontario!)
There’s another trend in that list too — just look at the above list. Shannons’ Exclusively Yours is set in the wilds of New Hampshire, Victoria Dahl’s contemporaries are set in small town Tumble Creek, Colorado, Lauren Dane’s Brown Family live in a more urban setting but it’s Seattle, which seems more Canadian to me (scandalous, I’m sure!), and Lorelei’s books are set in rural Montana.Lynsay’s well, come on, I love that I understand her references to Toronto’s PATH system, or know exactly the type of landscape she was talking about in the few of the Argeneau series that took place in cottage country. Maybe I’m drawn to those stories because I was raised in a smaller, alright downright rural area so I can connect with the characters and worlds better than a story such as Sex in the City (Yes, I confess, I can’t stand that series. I so cannot relate to the women’s mindset in it. Ever.)
If you look at your regular reading habits, notice any trends? Do you only read paranormals? Or only contemporaries? Or just historicals? Any common traits amongst your books?