What’s your reading poison?

Every reader is drawn to a particular type of genre. Most hardcore readers read just about anything you put in front of them, but we all have a favourite calling when it comes to books.

Where did you get that book?

I suppose that your choice of genre is influenced by the type of book you first read. Whether you have a built-in appreciation for a type of genre that is fed when you find the your first book that interests you, or the first book you read plants the seed is a topic for debate.

In my case, my first book was a teenaged mystery (A Nancy Drew) and I think that formed the foundation for the types of books that I look for to read. I will always choose a mystery title that has a slightly supernatural slant.

Nancy Drew was always battling ghosts and haunted houses and while they mostly turned out to be fake ghosts and hauntings, the supernatural aspect of the stories always escalated the thrill of the read that one extra notch.

I often wonder what would have happened to my reading tastes had I chosen ‘Exodus’ by Leon Uris off the bookshelf instead of “The Quest of the Missing Map” by Carolyn Keene. Would I have just gone for the Nancy Drew in the end anyway? Or might I have been more of historical fiction reader?

What do you think? Is it all about which book you picked up first? Or is there more to it than that?

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  • I think my first book was in my teens: The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton, and Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. My further readings included whatever was available on my book racks and they included Desiree and Those Devils in Baggy Pants. Hence, my readings has always reverted more or less to mysteries, adventure, and historical romance..not necessarily in that order 🙂

    • No way, I don’t even remember my first book!

      I used to devour Agatha Christie’s I do recall, but I have not read a mystery book for decades, my reading habits are quite varied.

      • Thanks to you both! I can’t even say why I still remember my first book considering how much else I’ve forgotten in the interim! 🙂

        Mirawati, I too read Enid Blytons, Tom Sawyer didn’t come until much later on in life however. 🙂

        Govind, what do you find yourself reading more of these days?

  • My first book which I appreciated and developed a lean towards a genre was a compilation of detective stories by Edmund Crispin

  • I think you’re way too simplistic. A lot depends on your situation/mood/age when you read that first book. I read my first book when I was 4 or 5, and it was Robinson Crusoe — and not a cut-down version. I distinctly remember luxuriating in the chapter where he set up his garden on the island, and this generated an early interest in gardening and horticulture. But me reading today is far more catholic — Science Fiction (in part because of its added challenge of writing a non-shared background or universe at the same time as developing the plot), mysteries, novels based around historical events, and various non-fiction areas like history, astronomy, mathematics, linguistics … need I go on?? I feel that if you get stuck in a single genre, you miss out on a lot. This is particularly true when books in one genre cross the boundaries and make references to works from another genre — you will miss the references, which are a part of the spice of that kind of writing!

    • A true reader!!! I totally agree that one shouldn’t get stuck in one genre.

      But there is that one type of book that calls to me every time I have a few different choices in front of me . The more interesting and convoluted the story is, the better. In fact, I recently discovered James Rollins who does a nice mix of history, adventure and mystery.

      All that aside, I really am only speculating that your first book has some impact on what you end up loving more than the rest. I can’t claim to have any insight into this than anyone else. But I did think it’d make for enlightening conversation.

      Your input is invaluable and I thank you for it. 🙂

  • i love reading this much that i have tried all genres at least once…….
    i am done with all the books in my school and college library ..
    i am addicted to books..
    and now i survive on ebooks.

  • Actually,I too think our genre of reading is inspired by our first book.I really dont remember my first book though I can recollect that it was a mystery by Enid Blyton.From there I started off to read Nancy Drew and other detective stories as well.Later on,my taste varied to romantic fictions with a little bit of mystery involved.I emphasize the word ‘mystery’ because thats where I started and still on that route.

  • well, cant say it depends on the 1st book you read, coz at school u’re kindda forced to read certain novels & stories – some of which you enjoy & some you found too boring – some even turned out to be more interesting towards the end rather than the entire book…However, i’d say that it depends on the 1st book that got you interested in it…. for me i loved adventure stories at school like “round the world in 80 days” “robinson cruiso” ” the secret garden”, however appreciated alot “oliver twist” “take of two cities” & “great expectations” towards their endings, but the one that really got my full excitement was the Agatha Christy detective stories (but only the ones that had Hercule Poirot in it) 🙂
    unfortunately now, i dont have much time to read as before & if i tried to do that i cant find something that can keep me reading for more than a couple of pages 🙁

    • Sounds like similar loves to mine. I also loved the Agatha Christie novels and I found someone from now who writes a lot like Christie – her name is Sue Grafton – and they are almost as short and sweet as Christie’s were. The problem is that Grafton’s gets slightly boring after a while because it’s the same protagonist through the whole series. At least Christie mixed things up a little.

      In any case, I would certainly give Grafton a try – see if she can get and keep you interested in reading again. 🙂

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