Discussion · Fantasy · Reflection

Why do I read?

Today I’m going to delve into what makes me a reader, what made me enjoy what I did. And what will change my tastes. And how it has evolved over time.

As a preteen, I was a voracious epic fantasy reader. I started with The Mortal Instruments, collecting all the volumes along with The Infernal Devices. Then, I discovered The Hunger Games, which drove me to dystopia. While Divergent all but threw me out of it.

Then I began to look at darker works, hoping to find something. Which pushed me to pick up An Ember In The Ashes, which made me seek things out like it. Only to find And I Darken, just merely a few months later. Which not only satisfied this hunger, it became the point where I began to forage into historical fiction.

But I didn’t just read that, I kept with fairy tale retellings, mostly due to Cruel Beauty and the way it was so incredibly different. And just until I saw The Lunar Chronicles.

And now, I’m seeking emotional experiences, experimental works, political stories. Stories with a far deeper meaning than to entertain, like Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns.

At my core, the reason why I read isn’t just escapist, I admit that when I began it was to escape. But now, it is a seeking for meaning, profundity and above all, to just simply find a story which has context, and makes me question what I know about it.

How I get entertained seems to be works that I can analyse, is deeply layered, set in an immersive world. And this gradually changed my tastes as well, I admit TMI is addicting but rarely deep or meaningful. The same can be said for all of Shadowhunters series.

I love characters who have far more than what is shown, and always have been. No matter how different they are, but as long as they felt deep and meaningful, I’ll be reading it. To relationships which are subtle, slowly growing and growth which are mostly shown through small changes.

As a reader, I began with what I wanted to write. Now, I’m just reading because I wanted to do so. I wanted to know what was going to happen. So little of whatever I read has really translated into my writing, except shaping how I feel and see the world.

I have begun to just take a label off my work for now, because there just isn’t a way around it. My works have been so ambiguous in the nature of genre, that I simply stop caring and write what I feel suits it.

And this is what I’m now, reading is a platform for me to seek out different experiences. Which otherwise will have been impossible to fulfill other than my own imagination. It still is, as if I was satisfied and felt inferior, why will I choose to write.

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