General · reading

Is It Harder to Be Transported By a Book As You Get Older?

The Sunday Bookends asked this question on June 9, 2016.

Both writers answer yes, but for different reasons.

Me, I also would say yes.

I think it is harder to find books you love – truly, deeply love – as you get older.

Maybe that’s because you get more cynical as you get older. Maybe it’s because there is less time to sit down and truly just let yourself get lost in a book. Maybe it’s because everything is so much newer when you’re younger and books you read later never quite measure up to the first book that made you go: whoa.

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transported by a book on wondrous adventures

I do know all my favorites and many of the authors I go back to again and again come from a particular period in my life. The same 2-3 years, in fact.

The books I usually compare my own writing against, the kinds of characters I want to create, the kind of description I want to do, all of these things come from books I read as a teenager.

It isn’t that books I read later sucked – they didn’t. I discovered new books and new titles afterward. I have raved about them here. I reread quite a few regularly; I keep a look out for when their new books come out.

But, with two or three exceptions, most of the books that influenced me, I read as a teenager. I think that first reaction of OMG, Awesome Book, So Good, So Very Very Good, happens more often when you’re younger and have read fewer books. Afterword: Oh, yes,  like that other book.

First times only happen once.

What do you think? Is It harder to be transported by a book as you get older?