Reading habits don’t exist in a vaccuum. Often, they’re a result of strong associations and good memories. Any new experience could be the catalyst for someone’s newfound literary obsession!
Here are a few things that have inspired my own reading interests:
A quiet childhood
I grew up as an only child. We lived smack-dab in the middle of nowhere, a long car’s ride away from most potential playmates. Reading was encouraged in my house – and I found that there were friends to be made in books, tenacious and brave children who made a difference in their worlds.
The endless pine trees of my backyard were beautiful… but a bit homogeneous. In books, I could explore stories of castles and magic, giants and witches, magic and immortality.
I did get a baby sibling eventually, and we ended up moving to a bigger town. But the love for escapism via fantasy remained!
Mixed cultural heritage
My family heritage includes Puerto Rico and the Philippines. It’s probably pretty unsurprising that I’m drawn to stories of diaspora and mixed race – especially ones focused on the Caribbean, Latin America, and southeast Asia.
What else do these two tropical locales have in common? Being annexed by the United States in 1898… along with a good helping of violence and old-timey racist policies enacted by Uncle Sam Go Here. (Yay!) Because of this less-than-delightful coincidence, I’m interested in all kinds of relevant topics: post-colonial literature and the legacy of imperialism; linguistics, anthropology, and human geography.
Trips I’ve taken
I’m secretly a giant history nerd. I’m the type who’s happily addicted to Wiki-walks through the details of obscure battles and generations of European aristocrats.
In the past few years, I’ve spent a semester abroad in Spain and taken a trip to Portugal. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the art and history of those places: the prehistoric Celts, the rise of the Moors and the Reconquista, the age of naval discovery and warfare. Nowadays, I’m intrigued by Spanish/Portuguese voices in literature, and I’ll happily devour a good book written about the Iberian peninsula.
What life experiences have shaped your reading interests?
What topics hold a special place in your heart? Are you into sci-fi because your mom’s an engineer? Are you trying to re-connect with your Polish heritage through literature? I’d love to hear about it!