I grew up in New Mexico on a steady diet of red beans and fried potatoes. Occasionally, we might have a roast, some fried chicken, or pork chops. Only that didn’t happen very often. Also, once in a blue moon my mama would boil some spinach or greens. You couldn’t have paid me enough to get a bite of that green slimy stuff in my mouth! Yuck. But, as I grew older and left home a funny thing happened—my tastes changed. Now I love spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower, plus a lot of other foods that I turned up my nose at when I was young.
Taste can also be applied to fashion and those changes for me on a regular basis. I’m not that finicky about clothes and shoes and purses. I like a lot of different things—mostly everything my daughters hate. It seems we have opposite ides of what looks flattering. Go figure.
But, what I’m finding totally amazing is the change that’s happened in my book preference over the last ten years. I used to scan through a book when I contemplated buying it to see if the heroine was young and if there were no “distracting” children in the story. If the heroine wasn’t late teens/early twenties or the story involved children, it went back on the shelf. I wasn’t interested in reading it, no matter how well recommended. Truth was, I didn’t give the book a chance. I wanted the girl young and the story free from anything that cluttered it up, like kids. My interest was only in the relationship between the hero and heroine.
Somewhere along the line, and I can’t remember when or how it happened, I drifted toward older heroines and I began to love stories that involved children. I found that children added a depth to the story that it probably wouldn’t have had. And now I can’t stand stories featuring some young thing that hasn’t lived long enough to have real character. Those go back on the shelves. I want my heroine to have had experiences that shaped her into the person she is. Doesn’t matter to me if she’s married, widowed, or a spinster as long as she’s late twenties to late forties. And I want children, the more children the better. I want a rich, full-bodied story that tugs at my heart. I want the woman to have struggled and lost something very precious so that she knows when fortune smiles on her, she reaches for it with all the strength and tenacity she has. I want the same for my hero. He’s a man who’s rugged, who’s come through the fire, and who isn’t afraid to live life to the fullest. Rarely does he care what those around him think. He’s his own man and he walks tall even though he may not have physical height. I do confess though that I still prefer him to be tall, but I’ll read the story now even if he isn’t. Another thing I’m finding is that I love to read mainstream where there’s no romance at all, which is something I wouldn’t have considered ten years ago. It was romance or nothing.
There’s no accounting taste I guess. Not everyone’s is the same. That’s why there’s room for all sorts of stories about a multitude of subjects and people. Variety is good. That way everyone can be happy and have what they prefer.
Maybe my age has something to do with my taste. As I get older my tastes in things change? I don’t know. That’s a deep subject. Could be true though. I just wonder if I’ll suddenly develop a craving for seafood? If I do, that’ll be a miracle. I’m not about to discount it with absolute certainty. And I wonder if at some point I’ll yearn for stories with seventy and eighty year old heroes and heroines?? Ha! Can’t imagine that now but who knows. Guess I’ll have to wait and see.
What are your tastes and do you find that they’re changing or have already changed? Or what kind of books do you really like? I’d love to hear your comments.