How My Reading Has Changed Over The Past Decade

22/01/2020 Discussions, Reading 24

I know it’s been the new decade for nearly a month now, but I still wanted to discuss how the past decade saw a complete change in my reading life. I started out the 10s (is that what we’re calling them?) as a teenager who had lost their childhood love of reading somewhere along the way, and I’m ending it as an avid reader, who reads more widely than I ever would have thought.

So here’s a bit of a timeline of my reading life over the past decade:

2010 – 2013

At the beginning of the decade, I was just going into my second year of college, and getting ready to head to university the following year. I can’t say I was at the happiest point of my life back then: after years of being bullied at high school I had become so shy and withdrawn that I found it impossible to make any friends once I got to college. None of my high school friends had the same breaks as me at college, so I kind of just hung around on my own a lot.

This means I should have had tonnes of reading time, but somewhere along the way I just stopped reading for pleasure. Perhaps it was my college workload, or just how unhappy I was, but I just stopped.

When I went on to university I had to read a lot for my course (I was doing English Literature, so obviously!) and I started to regain that love a little, but I still wasn’t reading any books of my own choosing. I enjoyed university a lot more than college, even though I was still painfully shy, as although I made no friends, I really enjoyed the lessons.

It was in my last summer at university that I finally found reading all over again. I’d heard this big fuss about a TV show called ‘Game of Thrones’, that had then been on for a couple of years and wanted to check it out, but decided I wanted to read the books first (because in my opinion, the books are usually better!). So I got hold of the first book, and that was it. I was hooked! I devoured the whole series to date in that summer, and rediscovered a love of reading along the way (and I’m still waiting for George R.R. Martin to release the next ASOIAF book!)!

2014 – 2016

By the time I graduated from university in 2014, I was a fully fledged reader again. I was devouring books like there was no tomorrow, mostly in my preferred genre of adult fantasy. I seem to remember reading a lot of Raymond E Feist around that time, and particularly loved the Riftwar Saga books.

It was during the time after university when I was working part-time whilst searching for a full time job that I started considering the idea of a book blog. I’d been lurking around the book blogosphere for a while, finding book recommendations and seeing what people were writing about it, and there was no denying it: I wanted to join in. But I didn’t know how to start, what to write about, what I would call it…so I put it off and for, until I finally just took the plunge one day.

I had recently read The Great Gatsby for the first time, and absolutely loved it. So I chose a quote from the last line for my blog title, and just started from there.

And wow, it changed my reading life for good! I knew hardly any other readers in my real life, and suddenly I was meeting loads of other people who loved books as much as I did (only virtually, but it was still awesome!), and I was being inundated with book recommendations. I had never been much of a YA reader, even as a teen (I don’t remember YA being a thing, to be honest when I when I was a teen – the teen section of the library was a tiny stand with a few cheesy looking contemporaries on it!), but YA is huge in the blogosphere, and I ended up trying our a few of the popular series, like Throne of Glass. I absolutely loved the YA I was reading, and it soon became one of my staple reading genres.

I also rediscovered the joy of the library around this time. In 2015 I moved out of my parents house and got a flat with my sister and my friend. We left the village where we all grew up and moved to the nearby town, and just so happened to live within walking distance of a reasonable sized library, which was amazing!

2017 – 2018

2017 and 2018 mostly saw a huge change in the formats in which I consumed books. I had always been a die-hard physical book fan – paperbacks to be specific, as I hate hardbacks – but that started to change.

Even though I’d had a Kindle since the second generation of Kindles, I’d never got into the whole ebook thing. It just didn’t have the same magic for me as a physical book. However, my friend (who briefly got into reading) got one of the newer generations of Kindle, with a new slimline design and touch screen, and I was kind of curious about ebooks again. Since the new Kindles were fairly inexpensive (only around £60) I decided to go for it, and wow, was it worth the money!

I found that it was actually super comfortable to read on such a small, light device, and I found loads of great deals on Amazon, meaning it was much cheaper to buy ebooks. My reading gradually began to change, beginning with reading the odd ebook, to slowly starting to read a higher proportion of ebooks to physical books.

I also read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins around this time (it was cheap on Kindle!), and discovered that I actually really love thrillers! Crime fiction was always a genre I assumed I wouldn’t be into, but turns out I was wrong!

2019 – Now

2019 was actually a pretty revolutionary year for my reading life.

Excitingly I moved closer to an even bigger library (it’s like I’m seeking them out!), as I moved to Liverpool to live with my boyfriend right at the end of 2018.

I also discovered how much I like reading contemporaries, which is a genre I’d always previously assumed wouldn’t be my thing, and found a love of manga.

I feel like my reading tastes are widening and diversifying all the time, and to be honest a lot of it I can chalk up to blogging. I get so many incredible recommendations that it encourages me to step outside my comfort zone, and as I find more things I like, my comfort zone just grows and grows.

It really does seem crazy now to look back at where I was in both my life and my reading life then years ago. So much can change!

Reading wise, I had totally lost my love of books at the start of the decade, and I think that was a reflection of where I was as a person. I wasn’t particularly happy, and I feel like that had taken away all the joy I had for something that had always been a huge part of my life and my identity.

Thankfully I got readdicted to reading after rediscovering my love of fantasy, and after I started blogging I just kept discovering more and more genres and books that I loved. It’s truly been a great decade for reading!

So how has your reading life changed over the past ten years? What new genres have you discovered? Do you read mostly ebooks, audiobooks or physical books?

24 Responses to “How My Reading Has Changed Over The Past Decade”

  1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    What a reading journey! I always enjoy seeing people’s reading journey as we all got into/back into reading. I definitely found that my reading picked up at the end of my uni years and funnily enough I picked up Game of Thrones during my return to reading. I only managed the first two and then drifted into the YA fantasy world because they were so much quicker to read. But I feel like now, I’m reading less, but I enjoy what I read more. And my reading horizons have expanded so much.

    • Laura

      I always enjoy hearing about people’s reading journey’s too! It’s just so interesting to see all the ways people got into reading, and how their tastes have changed throughout their reading life!
      And I’m glad to hear that your reading horizons have expanded so much! I feel like reading less, but really enjoying what you’re reading is definitely the best way round to be.

  2. Chana @ Paper Procrastinators

    This was so interesting! It’s crazy how much reading habits and preferences can change over time. I think one major thing for me is that I also used to stay away from contemporaries because I just assumed that they weren’t for me. I’m glad that I started reading them because there are so many great ones out there!

    • Laura

      It’s so crazy how people’s habits and preferences change over time! I’m always really interested to hear how other people’s reading lives have changed and progressed.
      And I’m so glad you got into contemporaries! It’s a genre I assumed wasn’t for me too, but I’ve been getting into the genre a lot lately, and I’m so glad I have. I’ve read some amazing books! 🙂

  3. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Wow, your reading did change a lot. At the beginning of the decade, I was a university student who mostly only read classics and assigned reading. Now I read EVERYTHING. I never thought my reading tastes would be so broad.

    • Laura

      I’m exactly the same! My reading horizons have broadened so much since I was at university, and just reading the assigned reading.

  4. Angela

    I started reading a lot after college, too, but that was a bit earlier for me, around 2006, so by the time 2010 rolls around, I’m reading a ton. Doing a lot of rereading since I didn’t have a lot of money for books and didn’t use my library a whole lot. Now I’m reading more genres than ever before and using my library almost exclusively! It looks like the 2020s will be the decade I start reading ebooks!

    • Laura

      Rediscovering the library was definitely a huge highlight for me in my bookish life, so I’m glad you rediscovered it too! And yay for ebooks! I never thought I’d get into them, but now I seem to read mostly ebooks 🙂

  5. Catherine@basedonthebook

    This was a lovely post:) I fell out of love with reading a bit at uni – every time I picked up a book for pleasure I felt guilty thinking I should be reading a course book instead – but blogging definitely helped me get back to it too. Liverpool library is lovely – I like the Picton room, it’s very Beauty and the Beast!

    • Laura

      I definitely remember feeling like that too at university. Like, if I was reading a book it should really be one for my course instead.
      And yes, the Liverpool library is so amazing! I love the Picton room too! It makes me feel like I’m at Hogwarts or something 🙂

  6. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

    What a fun post idea! 🙂 I’m really happy you rediscovered your joy for reading during the decade. I relate to becoming a bigger reader when starting your blog – although it was joining goodreads that did that for me. I remember finding so many new titles – titles I’ve never heard about before, and ones that suited me really well.

    And I also relate to the changing of reading taste. I used to read YA Contemporary and Fantasy, and then slowly opened myself up to Mystery and Thriller novels, including adult titles. I know read things I never thought I would, most notably non-fiction titles. Being a part of the community has encouraged me to try new genres, new books, it’s made me grow as a person too, I think. 🙂

    • Laura

      Goodreads definitely gave a big boost to my reading too! I didn’t do the Goodreads Challenge for the first couple of years I was blogging, but when I did start doing it the amount I was reading went up even further! And I got a lot of great new recommendations from it 🙂
      And I’m so glad you feel like being a part of the blogging community has helped you expand your reading and grow as a person. I feel exactly the same! 🙂

  7. Sam@wlabb

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I had started back to pleasure reading after a really long hiatus in 2013, so that’s the biggest change for me. It’s interesting to see how your tastes, habits, and even the format for your reading has evolved.

  8. Lisa notes

    Yay! I love your story of reconnecting with reading. The library is a huge part of my story with reading as well. Were it not for the library, I wouldn’t read near as much books as I do.

    • Laura

      It’s so interesting to look back! I think we all go through periods where we read more or less, and I bet college is probably one of the times when a lot of people have a dip as far as reading for pleasure goes.

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