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Old 02-21-2011, 06:36 PM
Location: Canada
6,138 posts, read 7,204,452 times
Reputation: 8753


I was wondering whether any of you find yourself reading certain types of books at certain times of your life. For example, almost 30 years ago, I lost 3 people who were very close to me, dearer than my own life to me, and I found myself compulsively reading horror stories - the more gruesome the better. I had a really hard time concentrating and at that time I seemed to need something so much more horrible than what I had just gone through.

The stories themselves had nothing to do with the circumstances under which I lost my 3 people - I couldn't have stood that - but it was at that time that I discovered writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz, for example.

I'm just curious as to whether anyone has had similar experiences in their lives?

I also find myself avoiding books with themes that cut too close to home, like personal memoir type books dealing with infertility since we were unable to have children. It's okay if a character has a similar problem, but not okay if that comprises the major plot of the book.

But on the other hand, I know people who seek out books that mirror circumstances in their own lives.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:45 PM
2,319 posts, read 4,322,877 times
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I have been reading a lot of philosophy and science books recently because I have changed philosophical worldviews. In the past I became involved with Native American rights and devoured any literature - fiction or nonfiction - on the subject. In high school I became obsessed with English literature. I don't really know why. Sometimes there is no obvious correlation between my reading and what's going on with me, but right now there is.

Interesting topic you've brought up.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:32 PM
169 posts, read 484,067 times
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When I was at school, I read 99.9% fiction to escape (mostly murder/mystery).

Now when I'm not in school, I read a lot more non-fiction to keep learning.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:28 AM
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 29,203,442 times
Reputation: 28762
This is such an interesting question. For me, I think it depends on where I am in the phase of the situation.

Example: When I was first diagnosed with MS (18 years ago), I wanted to read everything that I could -- I found it comforting that their stories were so much like my own. Then, when I got my MS under control, I found that I didn't want the reminders or that I got frustrated that they were misrepresenting the disease (which wasn't correct -- it was THEIR interpretation, so it's not actually "wrong").

Also, books primarily featuring the loss of a parent. I lost my mother when I was very young and I'm shamelessly terrified of losing my dad. Sometimes I can read a book that deals with the death of a parent and be fine. Sometimes... not so much. I guess it depends on how they present it -- whether or not it will hit too close to home.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:15 PM
207 posts, read 482,444 times
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I can relate. when my ex died I found myself reading Elsewhere at elast 5 times because I can just imagine him being at peace in heaven and wondering if he still thinks about me
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:48 AM
Location: Montreal, Canada
3 posts, read 2,160 times
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I find reading comedy or light hearted stories pulls the drama going on in the world delightful.
Lately I'm reading stories of personal triumphs to give me a better more positive take on life.
Last week, I read 3/4 of a book, that mirrored a dark time if my life, it was a reminder of the times I struggled to keep my family afloat, single Mom.....depressed me.
Finally, stopped reading it, and now enjoying an interesting Danielle Steel, learning about different jobs in parts of the world, I'm planning to visit. "BLUE"
You are what you read, keep it interesting, and keep learning...
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:00 PM
995 posts, read 972,606 times
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I've always, always, read fiction, mostly genre fiction. I started out reading sf classics such as Ray Bradbury, Orwell, Vonnegut, Wells. Then I got into historical romance by the Brontes, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer. Mysteries began with Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie.

When I first got married in my early 20's, I was obsessed with James Michener, Herman Wouk, Leon Uris, RF Delderfield...long history/family driven epics.

Then when my kids started coming along, I found myself with little time to read and I discovered romances...holy cow, I could have the kids in bed by 9pm, and it took me about 2 hours to read and finish a Harlequin. So thankful I'm a fast reader lol. I was addicted to the ones which were set in Australia and New Zealand, I think I still have some packed in boxes in the garage...somewhere maybe.

Nowadays, I'm still into the genre stuff. My favorite authors would be an endless list.
I will say the books I've read in the last few week or so are Susan Eliz. Phillips new Star book, and 2 old reprints of Mary Balogh.
I also downloaded The City of Thieves by Benioff. I read it when the book first came out, but had to return it to work since it was an advance readers copy that other people at work needed to read. We were going to be recommending it as a store pick. It was so good. Game of Thrones fans might recognize Benioff's name as one of the 2 co-creators of the tv series.

Books have always been my escape. I read a meme that said "Books allow me to escape, without running away from home." Totally nailed it lol.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:45 AM
Location: Lone Star State to Peach State
4,169 posts, read 3,986,957 times
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Never have I picked up a fiction book, unless it was required school reading. You will always find non fiction, historical, bio, autobiographies, and social issue books near my nightstand.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:01 PM
Location: zippidy doo dah
905 posts, read 1,444,829 times
Reputation: 1968
Funny - this thread was from 2011 . It had maybe four replies and then languished, only to be caught up again in September 2016 (likely because it appeared directly under what ever it was several of us were reading in another thread). But it is a good topic , especially if one is of a certain age where there have been very definitive changes in the cornucopia of years. Considering that the arts reflect societal norms throughout history, it isn't surprising that our own milestones in our personal history reflects our choice of reading material.

I've loved books from early childhood and have the severe myopia to go with that (not that reading made me myopic but there are many theories about the severely myopic....yes, we ARE very smart LOL - and humble).

At the moment, as I study the ancestry of my family , I have found myself reading both fiction and non-fiction that captures the times and the places and it has given me a much fuller feel for who my people were and what was happening in their lives. Never having had an interest in the first World War (actually I had an aversion to it though I was fascinated by the second one), I now have gorged on that era . I was a history major in my undergraduate work but so much that I studied then has gained depth with maturity and what has come to pass in the world. Again, I gain so much respect for earlier generations , not for particular acts but for how they applied their world lessons to who they became. I guess I "get" them more.

While I've done some fluff reading, I find much fiction today to be soul-sucking. Cute covers and witty titles on the outside- brainless characters within with foul mouths and loose morals. I would rather feed on something that adds depth to my character or wisdom than something that makes me view the world as totally lost.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:48 PM
Location: "Arlen" Texas
3,463 posts, read 1,854,534 times
Reputation: 10490
All readers probably go through phases. If I find an author I really like, I may read several of his or her books.
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