Submitted by kingkontroverseP0si t3_zutjs8 in books

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?
I was very into dark, depressing, disturbing books - especially books about serial killers - for my entire adult life.
I got into a relationship and fell in love recently and now I cannot bring myself to read any of the darker books on my TBR. I only want to read fantasy novels now.
Is interest in genre based on personality or mood or life circumstance? Has anyone else had a change in life and became less interested in their favorite book genres?



You must log in or register to comment.

tomandshell t1_j1lcigu wrote

I went through that with my taste in movies after I fell in love and got married. My cynical and pessimistic edge really softened and I was able to experience sincerity in stories for the first time in a while.


GhostNULL t1_j1mjfa1 wrote

Same but the other way around. Broke up with my ex and before that never was into romantic movies much, but since then I've watched "In the mood for love" more times than I'm willing to admit.


kinky_boots t1_j1nidaz wrote

That is one of the most beautifully lush cinematic movies with an amazing score and the chemistry between Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung is incredibly palpable.


sweetspringchild t1_j1mk3x0 wrote

There was research that showed people like confirmation that they're right, even if that confirmation comes in the form of songs. People who were already sad preferred sad song, angry ones agressive songs, in-love ones romantic songs etc.

I bet it's the same with books.


ZootZootTesla t1_j1mlbru wrote

Self affirmation and self labelling theory.

If you believe to be sad you are attracted to sadness.

If you believe to be in love you are attracted to material around love.


fapping_giraffe t1_j1mprzu wrote

Self affirmation is more about choosing and willing your life forward in every instant no matter how bad or good it is. It's about not giving into nihilism or despair and having courage to embrace all difficulty in the same way you do the positive things in life.

It's not about giving in or becoming the things you're attracted to


ZootZootTesla t1_j1nt4ox wrote

Beautifully said, I'd think you'd agree that self affirmation will drive oneself in a direction of their choosing whether its real or not. As I understand it its about not only neutralisation of one's actions but the endorsement of them in the opinion it will improve there life truly or in a delusional manner.

Regardless I hope you've had a merry Christmas and have a happy new year.


debsim t1_j1nv97v wrote

What if i love romantic songs but never really been in love? Maybe i’m in the love with the idea of romance?


sweetspringchild t1_j1pog4b wrote

It's the general feeling that matches, I don't think neither music nor human emotions can neatly be packed into boxes.

Nobody is ever feeling just in love.

Or a romantic song could just sound optimistic and hopeful to you and you're optimistic and hopeful in that moment.

And of course what sounds romantic to one person might not to other.

It's not clear-cut, it's just a general trend they noticed.

But also you could have read a romantic book, and be in such mood even though it might not have happened to you personally.


KatieCashew t1_j1ow1lz wrote

I watched Stardust at the exact right time for this. My now husband and I were falling in love and still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship. I could totally relate to the glowing feeling of being in love. I maintain that despite being fantasy that is one of the most accurate portrayals of being in love. It doesn't actually make you glow, but your sure feel like you are.


Ineffable7980x t1_j1luxub wrote

Since I have been sober (10 years now), my taste has obviously shifted. I tend to prefer books with a lighter and more hopeful outlook. That doesn't mean I avoid complex or difficult stories, but I definitely shun nihilistic ones.


kingkontroverseP0si OP t1_j1nnwt7 wrote

Congratulations on 10 years!! I’m coming up on 5 in 4 days. I wonder if my interests shifted when I got sober


kitty_glitterz t1_j1o1ztt wrote

I hope you and your loved ones are so proud of you. Massive accomplishment!


Ineffable7980x t1_j1pl2tj wrote

They are. But I didn't make this comment to get praise. I wanted to validate the OPs idea that change of life can change reading preferences.


halfgod50zilla t1_j1o7gg9 wrote

When you say "obviously" wdym? Is this something you see in other addicts?

I ask with no disrespect but as someone that lost both parents to heroin addiction at an age too young to really understand their hardships, the personality changes, etc. But I DO remember even half asleep, my mom like scifi and Stephen King. I don't remember that ever changing..


wherewhoami t1_j1p7dnx wrote

same here!! i used to be deep into philosophy and nihilism and then i got sober and started combatting my depression and now i try to be more hopeful and avoid nihilism


albertossic t1_j1wmcv6 wrote

What kind of books did you once read that you wouldn't anymore because they're too nihilistic, out of curiosity?


happilyeverbooks t1_j1loabo wrote

Since the pandemic I haven't wanted to read anything realistic or true to life. Only want escapism now - fantasy and sci fi all the way.


aurinxki t1_j1m374d wrote

Nothing too dark either (in my case). When I'm happier in real life I can enjoy dystopian and horror stories.


SobiTheRobot t1_j1mik29 wrote

You need a balance of light and dark between your fiction and reality. When life ventures too far in either direction, you compensate with fiction.


Ladyharpie t1_j1ml3a7 wrote

That's what I thought and then proceeded to constantly sell out of horror series throughout the pandemic. I could not figure out why some of the best horror stories in decades were being released, extended, and sold out completely during what felt like the plague lol.


[deleted] t1_j1mvl3q wrote



Ladyharpie t1_j1nc5gp wrote

I haven't had anyone explain why they were craving these books until this comment, I think a lot of us know what we like or need without always having the words. I was obsessed with horror and legends and mythology as a child but I never thought of the why behind it.

I never saw horror as having an adversary though, I guess because as a queer person there's a long history of identifying with the monsters instead. I still love the genre just need more of a balance as I began experiencing monsters in real life.


Merle8888 t1_j1ounml wrote

I definitely get this. While I’m not immune to the desire for comfort reading, I often like to read something that puts my problems in perspective.


nanketo t1_j1niwqv wrote

Check out the Cradle series by Will Wight. Fun and playful cultivation fantasy series that’s nearly concluded (the 12th and final book should come out within the next few months). The books are based on a Daoist-style magic system that combines elemental power cultivation with martial arts style battling. I used to lean more heavily toward more traditional European medieval set high fantasy, but this series is a refreshing and lighthearted turn away from that into Eastern fantasy with a more uplifting balance in the whole good vs evil trope that it centers around. Can’t recommend it enough, and the online communities around it are pretty active.


happilyeverbooks t1_j1nye1k wrote

I actually already had this on my list to check out for 2023. Your comment definitely makes me keen to get to it!


alohadave t1_j1osfj3 wrote

I certainly never want to read anything realistic to pandemics. Watching Contagion was enough.

I read an article at the beginning comparing to the Spanish Flu, how there are very few stories/books/movies that reference it at all. Like people didn't want to be reminded about it and put it behind them as fast as they could.

It tracks with this one that most media that isn't news is pretending that it isn't happening at all.


BlackjackCF t1_j1o7fhu wrote

I was like that too for the first year of the pandemic.

I dunno if I’m just numb to everything now, but I used to be too scared to watch or read anything horror, and now I’m like ¯_(ツ)_/¯. House ghost? Meh. I have the existential dread of climate change.


iruletheworld22 t1_j1osjlg wrote

Books about my real life sound terrible! Like, I love that shit, I don't need to read about it.


Pickleyourpoison t1_j1ohlxw wrote

Same! I read then re-read Brandon Sanderson's work during the pandemic and now I have a hard time reading anything else. I also haven't been able to finish professional improvement books or non fiction since the pandemic. Kinda glad to hear I'm not the only one.


[deleted] t1_j1ldsm0 wrote

I got a lot of therapy, and suddenly abusive relationships with controlling men, were not something I was interested in. Nor was particularly sexualized content.

50 Shades would have been totally my thing pre-therapy. I can remember getting annoyed with some of Anne Rice, and a book about sex slaves, called Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey.

Anything that significantly heals trauma can really change what your interests are.


Veer-Zinda t1_j1lxqlj wrote

>Anything that significantly heals trauma can really change what your interests are.

This is exactly what did it for me. I'm glad you're in a better place.


[deleted] t1_j1m2xrl wrote

If I may ask, what were you reading before, and what do you read now?

One of the things that has surprised me most, is how much I like later Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Stephen Graham Jones. It’s horror, but they write about people, so well. (And Graham Jones is writing literature.)


Veer-Zinda t1_j1mkcjl wrote

I used to read a lot of crime fiction and thrillers, with the occasional general fiction or sci-fi thrown in. When I did read general fiction, I tended to like more dystopian material.

I find that the darker elements I enjoyed in those genres I now prefer in something where it's a more integral part of a larger story.

These days, I tend to read much more general fiction, sci-fi, a little fantasy, and crime fiction only rarely.

To expand on my previous point, I can still enjoy fiction that explores darker themes in depth, because that's always interested me from a psychological point of view, but I guess I feel like I'm in a sufficiently healthy place that I can appreciate the balance of light and dark as encapsulating the human experience. But what's changed is that I don't get sucked into those darker places as a way to lose myself in self-loathing or self-pity. I don't know if that makes sense.


[deleted] t1_j1mkw3n wrote

It does make sense. Sometimes reading dark things is a kind of perpetuating abuse.


Veer-Zinda t1_j1mlgrj wrote

Yes, that's it. And healing shines a light on how destructive that is to the psyche, so it no longer appeals. It was never a conscious effort to stop. It just fell away along with a load of other unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

Did you find any particular book helped with trauma? (If you don't mind me asking.)


[deleted] t1_j1mmnwm wrote

That’s a long list. But -

1.) M.Scott Peck - People of the Lie

It’s essentially about human evil. One of the things abuse survivors do is lie to themselves about what’s happening. It’s really important to think about what is true.

2.) Psychopath Free - Jackson McKenzie

This was key for naming some of my craziest abuse situations as an adult.

3.) The Narnia Chronicles - CS Lewis

4.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Tolkien

I swear those books help with a sense of felt safety.

Also, any author who clearly has a strong moral compass, in the secular humanist or any non denominational religious sense.

It’s important to reframe abuse as good vs evil, and visualize a world in which evil does not win.

Brandon Sanderson, Alastair Reynolds, Iain Banks, and again, Stephen King. Also, the poet Naomi Shehab Nye.


fuckincaillou t1_j1olzuh wrote

This comment really makes me rethink the possible reasons as to why 50 Shades is so popular, now. Good on you for getting healed! I'm glad you're better now. :)


pitaenigma t1_j1mxepg wrote

After I got out of an abusive relationship I slowly turned away from dark books I loved my entire life. Since coming out as trans I've been into fluffy stuff


huldrat t1_j1lg5x5 wrote

All my life I absolutely loved romance books, but every time I'm in a romantic relationship I prefer anything else, and my genre horizons are broadened as well. I explain it by more easily noticing a lack of a truly genuine connection between characters in romance, and being more eager to try out books (movies, games...) my partner likes. Though I think changes in your (inner) life may really affect your taste in different ways as well.


reisenallein t1_j1msnee wrote

I’m exactly the same way! My whole life I’d never been a relationship and I really enjoyed romance and anything YA/coming of age with love interests. These last two years, I’ve been in my first relationship and I realized I don’t enjoy the genre as much as I used to.


DrBabbage t1_j1mlnz4 wrote

I always viewed raunchy romance books as porn for women.


Meikami t1_j1neq9v wrote

I mean, we also have real porn, but I get what you mean.


timtamsforbreakfast t1_j1lgnbg wrote

Since having a child I'm less keen to read apocalyptic or dystopian books. Also I'm far more bothered by harm befalling fictional babies or kids.


RadSpatula t1_j1macwp wrote

This is true. I was mad into true crime in my 20s. Since having a kid I just can’t read anything that reinforces how awful the world can be, especially anything involving kids. I am still having nightmares over stuff that pops up in my news feed.

I think it’s stages of life and I think both are important. It’s necessary to know how black the human soul can be for practical purposes. But once you know it, it’s bottomless and you don’t need to get sucked in further. it’s also important to enjoy the good, uplifting parts of human nature.


djhazard123 t1_j1meyqq wrote

I feel this. I used to be quite psychopathic and withdrawn from injuries or suffering (videos, stories etc) but as soon as I became a father anything revolving kids being hurt, mistreated or killed disgusts me on a level I’d never experienced before in my life.


terranymph t1_j1p0lh9 wrote

Yeah I was going to say this too. I have had some moments of extreme dreed after reading stuff where small children, especially if slightly older or the same age as my daughter, are seriously hurt or killed. Especially in freak accident situations. Before I really didn't care so much.


ChaDefinitelyFeel t1_j1mimac wrote

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a book you need to read


d36williams t1_j1n3ir8 wrote

Lol I love that book but no they dont! I had the most profound nightmares reading it. Wait tell your kids are older before reading it yourself. Its too haunting to read it and also take care of kids


Kadwow t1_j1lfl1x wrote

People change over time, their interests and preferred topics change as well so does their reading list. It's normal and healthy.


HerculeHastings t1_j1leiaj wrote

The only thing different for me was that after I fell in love, I started to really like romances. Before my first relationship I thought romance was boring and lame, after I had my first relationship at 16 I started crying at anything romantic and vaguely tragic.


question_sunshine t1_j1m3umv wrote

I'm not particularly interested in romance in my personal life. But I do like romance movies if they are romance that is if they're about love and compromise, not about infatuation and rapidly altering your own personality and interests in order to be with another person. I'm looking at you 90% of rom-coms.


thewritingchair t1_j1lng8h wrote

Having children permanently altered what books I can read, what movies/tv shows I can watch.

There's a game where a man loses his son. You walk around pressing a button to call out his name. Pre-child me played it. Now I could never.


karabou105 t1_j1ltq3c wrote

I relate to this completely. Before having my son I could watch true crime and read all the thrillers. Now I want none of it.


Sleep-system t1_j1lo3ok wrote

I started smoking weed and have very little interest in depressing or violent media now


Awesomepwnag t1_j1lz2cv wrote

I used to pour scorn on those who censor the stuff they consume - art/books/films etc, because I’d be like ‘well the real world is harsh, you can’t just hide from it! Grow up!’

And now I’m way more of the opinion that there’s more than enough hatred and evil and violence in the world - surround yourself with love and kindness as much as possible


darkest_irish_lass t1_j1mn91s wrote

Is that why there's this huge push for censorship now? Wow, I think you're onto something.


zoejdm t1_j1llxl7 wrote

Personality, like taste, is very circumstantial. Totally normal.


MegC18 t1_j1m3n6w wrote

When I’m ill with flu or similar, I very strangely crave dark books, like the ghost stories of MR James, Russian works of Dostoyevsky, Frankenstein etc.


EpitaFelis t1_j1nmuso wrote

I'm the opposite. When I'm in love (happily anyway), my tastes can get a lot darker/sadder. My guess is, when I got someone who has my back, I'm less scared to face the difficult emotions that come with disturbing topics.


livebythem t1_j1oawy3 wrote

This is a really interesting take. So you end up talking to your so about the dark and sad topics? Or you just know it subconsciously and don’t mind reading he books?


EpitaFelis t1_j1pe4i0 wrote

The latter, I think. Though my current partner likes to pick up the books I'm reading, so if sth comes up in them we'd talk about it.


Kind_Nepenth3 t1_j1lgw4f wrote

Lmao, yes but I stopped reading entirely. Just. Completely. I used to be one of those people who would keep multiple books going at once and it could almost be concerning.

But then I met my ex and it just wasn't as interesting as reality was. I don't believe we ever even formally asked each other out, we just wordlessly started dating. And for me, I could waste my time with dragons and undead and unknowable horrors, or I could go to Walmart with them. It didn't measure up. It never would again.

That was 12 years ago. I'm trying to get back into it and I've had some success with the right authors but it's incredibly hit or miss and I never lose all sense of myself like I used to when I read.

For you, I think that your viewpoint has just changed. Things are brighter, and it's not surprising to want something brighter to match. I hope things work out well for you <3


pinponpen t1_j1lhvl0 wrote

I fell off from romance and when i got a relationship, i bought romance fiction, then when we broke up till now.. i have no desire to return to romance books


gfzgfx t1_j1mklti wrote

Funnily enough, I had the opposite happen. I loved romance until I fell in love, and since then I haven't really touched the stuff. I think I always placed myself in the shoes of the characters and lived through them and now I don't feel the need to do that anymore.


thegobbluth t1_j1lc1f3 wrote

I’m a big mood reader so my interests in genre shift constantly. This makes a lot of sense to me and my adhd brain.


jmax479 t1_j1lqo2q wrote

I think truly being in love really can change a person. It can change your mind and change your heart. It can make you a more compassionate person in general. I look back on the things I used to read and I am shocked. My new self would never even pick up those books.


bloodispouring t1_j1mnhkl wrote

Yes!! Me too! I used to mostly gravitate toward books written by men (sci-fi, mystery, occult, horror) and films directed by men (sci-fi, action, occult, horror). It was totally a mood and personality thing with me. I was angry and super cynical, so I only gravitated toward things that were violent or that no one gave a chance. I didn't feel feminine (whatever that means) either.

Until I met my boyfriend. He loves reading books by women and films directed by women. He reads books of all genres. Suddenly, I'm reading nonfiction, too, and giving unknown authors and directors a chance. Same with music! I went from angry, depressed, and cynical to at peace, though still a bit cynical 🤭

He's always so engrossed in the books he reads and films that he watches that it made me really curious, and now I can't go back!

Now I just read the blurb, and if the story sounds interesting, regardless of genre or medium, I'm sold.

He broadened my mind. Now I get to add loads more books to my shelf!! 😄


benzuyen t1_j1ltr9k wrote

I can say that my perspective on life and reading changed after my son was born. I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and the whole narrative of survival and looking after his son took on a whole new meaning. I think it’s that I could relate to it more knowing I would do anything for my own son.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1lviyv wrote

Your environment is a big part of who you are. If you move to New York City, you wll in some sense become the city. But there's more to it than that. If you listen to a particular kind of music that you enjoy with others who enjoy it, you won't notice anything... but if you listen to it with people who don't enjoy it, you won't enjoy it as much either. Not as a reflexive thing, not because you don't enjoy sitting with people who aren't enjoying what they're listening to, but more immediately: because you're part of that new community and because that community doesn't like that kind of music.


karmacrossing t1_j1m6l5f wrote

Lots of studies have been done on this very subject in regards to all kinds of entertainment media. It’s super interesting especially when it happens on a larger scale and leads to a complete shift in social attitudes toward a certain genre or theme.

While I’m sure you could attribute the change to just falling in love, I would also be curious to know if you think the larger current social shift away from true crime could have contributed? I know I personally used to devour the genre as well, and over the last couple years, over saturation and sensationalism has really put me off of it.

Either way it sounds like you’re reading material that is probably a lot healthier for you brain and mental well-being in the long run :)


Veer-Zinda t1_j1lv4p2 wrote

Yes, my tastes changed once I no longer had depression or anxiety. That was across the board. I stopped listening to music that was darker (not sadder), and I stopped reading crime/thrillers so much, preferring more general fiction, sci-fi and fantasy. It didn't affect films quite so much, but I suppose I watch less dark stuff that doesn't have more substance.

I'm sure my tastes will continue to change in line with my life experiences - it's only natural.


Langstarr t1_j1m3un1 wrote

In a weird inverse, I pretty much only read Sci fi and a little fantasy here or there, but when I met my husband he's always giving me books to read, and they are always good, just very different, like Jo Nesbo or Stephen King.


HerbaciousTea t1_j1mj4zj wrote

Tastes change constantly. Sometimes as a response to some change in your life, but just as often completely arbitrarily.

Sometimes you simply no longer get anything meaningful from a genre or subject matter, and sometimes it is pure random chance that you are in the right headspace to read a particular book at that moment to have it leave a meaningful impact on you.

We are not even remotely static. A book I can find exasperating to read one day could be enthralling the next day simply because something completely unrelated got me excited about some little aspect of it.

I would hesitate to say that we necessarily 'grow out' of certain types of books, because I don't think it's a linear path of immature -> mature, it's a spectrum of many different axis and between the random noise of our day to day interests and influences, and our larger life experiences changing us, we are never quite at the same exact coordinates twice.


HarrisonRyeGraham t1_j1oiuzx wrote

I think there’s a lot to be said about this as well—the part about not getting anything meaningful out of it anymore. For example, I recently tried reading a romance novel that had a fun title and had a promising set up and the writing itself was fun and accessible. But holy shit…it was infuriating. It seemed like an AI wrote a romcom. It was like the author wrote down every single beat and cliche story point a book like this usually has and shoehorned it in every step of the way. I was so irritated.

Yet…I imagine I would’ve completely enjoyed it without a thought in my early twenties when I’d seen less movies, read less books, and hadn’t yet studied screen writing. The exposure to stories is exactly what made me dislike it, because to me it was derivative. Even though to many others I bet it was just a fun read.

In high school I read countless books by Stephen king and lovecraft and loved dark depressing YA books. Because it was cathartic and it felt deep and important and cool to me at the time. And now I can still enjoy books like that, but I’d rather spend my time reading something hopeful and interesting, and I try to find voices and stories I haven’t read before.


alohadave t1_j1otl68 wrote

> Sometimes you simply no longer get anything meaningful from a genre or subject matter,

I read a ton of sci-fi in my youth, and kind of burned out on it for many years, and I'm really selective on what sci-fi I read now. It's a lot harder to find engaging works that are good.

> and sometimes it is pure random chance that you are in the right headspace to read a particular book at that moment to have it leave a meaningful impact on you.

I read a few romances (magical romance) that really resonated with me, so it's something I keep an eye out for now.


Corchoroth t1_j1n1rl5 wrote

Wait till you have a kid, you will only be able to read Clifford


HeatherM74 t1_j1n2pkk wrote

Trigger warning: a little talk of abuse

Before I was in therapy for 2 different SAs and physical abuse as a child and as a wife, I only read dark romances and horror. That could be triggering for some who have been through the same but for me it was therapeutic.

After getting on the right medicine and going through the right therapy I don’t need to read those dark romances like I did and if I do they make me flinch now. I still read horror because that has always been my go to genre for books and movies. I don’t really read much romance anymore. Horror, paranormal, and psychological thrillers are my go tos now.


lupuscapabilis t1_j1nuz9r wrote

My musical tastes always changed when I was in a good relationship, in a similar way.


chillaxinbball t1_j1mnp8o wrote

My wife is reading a ton of serial killer books now... Should I be worried?


theaudacityofthi t1_j1moc3w wrote

Yeah I noticed this. I’m the opposite, I can’t read romance books and I like darker themes like mysteries etc


CaregiverPopular7497 t1_j1mrhki wrote

Being interested in depressing things doesn't mean you are depressed; however, is it just possible you are generally cheerier now? During the times in my life where I've been dating, I've been more receptive to -as an example- love songs.


aspektx t1_j1n2ari wrote

You're brain chemistry literally changes when you fall in love.


FerretChrist t1_j1n9p5q wrote

Personally I'm just into really dark, depressing and disturbing fantasy novels. I was into them before and after I fell in love. I guess that's the best of both worlds?

Seriously though, don't overthink it. People change a lot over the course of major life events. Just go with it. But if you feel like letting some of the darkness back in, I can highly recommend R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series. ;)


tawnie6879 t1_j1ngcwf wrote

I still read stuff I used to in the past but I've branched out when my parents died when I was 21 and 23. I got more into grief books, depression books, and somewhat darker stuff. I just usually switch it up so I can try different stuff. I do think life experience does have a tendency to color what we want to absorb entertainment wise. When you're happy you read happy or when your sad you read sad. But not all the time. I generally read a wide range of stuff though.


heroicfigure t1_j1njslh wrote

Used to love super dark, edgy shit. Stuff with a lot of fighting, killing, and violence, didn’t mind too much sexual violence either. Now, that I have kids and after I lost my father it just doesn’t interest me anymore. I actively avoid super depressing stuff. I like fantasy and science fiction now and a nice feel good book like “A Man Called Ove” or something.


WonderingOphelia t1_j1njvgy wrote

Sort of, but in my case it’s not been a new relationship but death. My Grandpa and FIL died last year, and in between my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I had to assume responsibility for his health and our business overnight while already deep in grief and in the middle of a pandemic. I love history. Any form. Fiction, non fiction, biography, whatever. But for the last year and a half all I can do is read smutty romance brain cell killing fluff. Anything else I pick up I read about a page and a half and go check Facebook for half an hour.


Lalalindsaysay t1_j1no1it wrote

I used to love books that rip your heart out and leave you feeling numb (think Shuggie Bain). Then I had a baby and my desire for those books is largely gone.


violet_beard t1_j1np84c wrote

Funny, I had this exact same thing happen when I left an unhappy relationship and started working on myself. It’s fascinating how these big changes actually shift our interests in art.


Beaster123 t1_j1npivz wrote

Just wait until you become a parent ;)


pronetowander28 t1_j1nqxy4 wrote

Yeah, in college a number of my friends were either depressed or just generally were into dark things, and I was too. After I got out and started a 9-5 and started sleeping normally - and then met my husband - I just could not handle that kind of stuff anymore.


WhimsyBeyondWonder t1_j1nrk6h wrote

Prior to the pandemic, I couldn't bear any sort of dark themes from my media or books. I read whimsical fantasy and shoujo manga, feeling as though the real world was dark enough that I needed the emotional support from those reads. But when the pandemic hit, I couldn't stand reading those types of books. The happily ever after books felt like mockery to me. I read many dark books, and somehow that was comforting. Now I shuffle through a mix.


debsim t1_j1nw8zq wrote

Something that has never changed for me is feeling uncomfortable with stories that deal with autism as an autistic person myself.


Inevitable_Click_855 t1_j1o2uoy wrote

Yep, I want cozies and magical realism,fantasy/adventure and coming of age. I used to read exclusively horror and dark stuff. I can’t anymore haha.


Natural_Amphibian_79 t1_j1ok7ru wrote

I have changed my reading preferences. I used to read a lot of Steven King and women’s fiction. I still read some women’s fiction but I read romance novels as well. Years ago I would have never read romance novels but with this crazy world and life stresses I prefer to read mindless happy stories.


cherrykn0ts t1_j1onri0 wrote

Yes. Same thing happened when I fell in love more than a year ago. Couldn't read the same kind of books I used to love. Still can't


20above t1_j1oq1as wrote

I definitely think life experiences can change your tastes. While I’ve never loved grim stuff I was much heavier into superheroes/action stuff, historical fiction and crime TV growing up and into my 20s too. But after some personal struggles I veer largely towards humor and romance now and can only enjoy those other things under certain conditions. I think it’s because I need to feel some sense of hope as my everyday living experience is full of hopelessness and powerlessness.


CobraBubblesJr t1_j1lxvbl wrote

After I had a kid, I couldn't bear to watch or read about anything in which children were injured, etc.



bigsquib68 t1_j1m0vkv wrote

Now that I have kids, I can't read or watch anything that has kids going missing, or getting sick, or injured, or God forbid worse than these. My heart can't take it.


nevernotmad t1_j1m25pw wrote

I couldn’t ready anything dark or grisly after having kids. Almost all I read these days is non-fiction or sci-fi/fantasy.


ieatbooks2022 t1_j1m69p6 wrote

I think so? Ever since my relationship didn’t work out, I haven’t read romance as I used to. :-/


saltyfingas t1_j1m6cu8 wrote

Fantasy as a genre has a way of just pulling you in. I pretty much only read fantasy and graphic novels and have pretty much zero interest in anything else aside from some sci Fi (which is basically a sister genre)


amaluna t1_j1m6i68 wrote

I had a similar thing with music, my taste in music is a lot lighter and upbeat.


oboesqueaks t1_j1m8ay1 wrote

Oof yeah. I used to have more variety in my reading tastes and now I read mostly romance because it’s the only genre where I am guaranteed a happy ending. The switch was at the beginning of the pandemic. I had always been a bit depressed and that just tipped me over. I couldn’t read things that made me even sadder. I still read other genres, but I usually have 2-3 romances in between.


sceadu7heofoncandel t1_j1m8tak wrote

My taste has definitely evolved over time as I have had more life experiences. It’s also affected my music listening too. I used to never listen to music but one day I suddenly found it more relatable. I had to experience love and loss to relate properly to the lyrics. Same with books. Nowadays I’m more interested in the themes that used to be irrelevant to my teenage life.


StefanRagnarsson t1_j1m9ll8 wrote

I can tell you that after I had children I am entirely incapable of reading anything where violence against children is described, even in an abstract, off the page kind of way. Any scene involving a kid in any kind of distress is crazy difficult for me to get to, even if it’s just some schoolyard bullying.


minimalist_coach t1_j1m9p3a wrote

I used to read horror almost exclusively, with maybe a bit of detective mixed in. I took a break from reading fiction when my kids were little and I had little time to read, then my reading was focused on nonfiction for work. I no longer desire reading horror, I rarely watch anything scary or brutal anymore, I just don't like to feel tense during my leisure time if I can avoid it.


Mata_www t1_j1matit wrote

Not an answer but could you recommend some of the books about serial killers? I can't find any good


SentientSlushie t1_j1mfaj0 wrote

American Psycho


Mata_www t1_j1mfha0 wrote

You can't belive bro! I was two days ago in library to get it and person in front of me got the last one, now I have to wait two weeks for it :')


throwawaffleaway t1_j1mqycc wrote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is essential though it’s more of a massacre


Khutulun89 t1_j1mbcy2 wrote

That's just because fantasy is the best genre :D


capybaratrousers t1_j1merit wrote

After having kids, some books hit really differently. McCarthy's The Road made me cry on and off for like 2 solid days thinking about preparing my kids to face life.


[deleted] t1_j1mgfmd wrote

Yeah. For me it changed after therapy, actually.

Now I don't really like anymore the dark music I was listening and neither the philosophical books I felt close to.


SallyJane5555 t1_j1mhkny wrote

I think books provide us with something we need. As we grow and change, so does what we need from books.


Wingkirs t1_j1mj6k7 wrote

I got engaged and now everything makes me cry. It’s like I was holding in emotions for so long, every book with a happy ending or even just emotional bits, makes me cry. I used to be cold and cynical now Im sappy and happy.


TheArchist t1_j1mk05a wrote

a non book example was absolutely being unable to watch any kind of affection or romance in movies after breaking up with my first ex. she loved those kind of movies so i couldn't even as see random affection without wanting to throw my remote into the tv

for book examples, i started to appreciate science fiction as a genre 10x more when i was doing my comp sci degree. like i used to be like "oh sci fi" but during my degree i got really into asimov books and it was a soothing release from all i went through then


klimskin t1_j1mld0v wrote

I find when I fall in love I see things differently to how I had before. My eyes open to the things that I wouldn't have looked at before and I wonder what I might find in the other person's little world that I might also enjoy. I'd say its normal, its the soft insanity that comes from falling for someone I think


brigids_fire t1_j1mmotf wrote

I had the opposite - before i was in a loving relationship i devoured romance. Read fantasy and horror too, but not like romance. I inhaled romance!

I havent touched a romance book in over 4 years! Now i gravitate towards horror or grim dark fantasy. Plus alternately nihilistic / hopeful sci fi


Novel-Curious1013 t1_j1mouhm wrote

I think that's entirely normal! I've noticed the same logic apply to when I listen to certain types of music and I end up listening to songs that relate to my current situation!


ConnieRob t1_j1mow1y wrote

This happened to me after I had my boys. I used to love murder books and after I had them anytime a kid was being harmed I just could not stand to read it. I’ve got whole authors that I just pass on by. I love cozy mysteries these days. Still a little sleuthing but not bleak.


Exotic_Recognition_8 t1_j1mplsh wrote

After experiencing deep grief I prefer light hearted books, I read a lot of children's literature and lightweight sci fi/fantasy.


DeterminedStupor t1_j1mpn47 wrote

I was crazy about popular science books a few years ago... Now I'm more interested in history and read significantly less of science books. I don't know why.


throwawaffleaway t1_j1mqdf9 wrote

I tend to be seasonal. More fantasy and YA in winter when my brain is sad and I need an escape. More nonfic in summer when I’m active and interested in learning about subjects related to my activities (I love to hike so primarily nature books and memoirs). Though I do have a tendency to get into British and Viking history in early winter too.


greatfarter t1_j1mqfah wrote

I've had this happen on a temporary basis - during the times I had a crush on someone, or was fantasizing about someone, I found it very natural to pickup romance novels, even ones that weren't classics or generally highly regarded in the genre. As soon as I stopped having said feelings, my desire to read romance also vanished.


tarotdryrub t1_j1mrgnz wrote

Got pregnant and had a baby and now all my preferences are mixed up! I spent an hour in my local bookstore and couldn’t land on anything when I could previously walk out with 5 books in 20 minutes. Life is weird!


GoodCape t1_j1mtqaa wrote

yeah. after experiencing a personal loss for the first time, books with grief and loss as major components destroy me. they’re hard to get through because it’s so easy to imagine somebody else feeling the pain i felt when going through it.

it’s better now but it is still a change from before.


dovahkiitten16 t1_j1mw8k1 wrote

Never really been in love but once I started dating my tastes changed a bit. Not drastically but for me it made me able to appreciate the romance in some books/songs/shows more. That type of thing just felt corny and icky to me until I got a taste of it myself.


tranion10 t1_j1mzdkh wrote

For sure. If your relationship falls apart your taste in books will change pretty drastically again.


slimCyke t1_j1n0naw wrote

Not after falling in love or getting married, but once the kids came into the picture a few years ago, I haven't had the stomach to read anything distopian.


Kholoud_Engineering t1_j1n10qv wrote

Well, the same thing happened to me lol ! I used to love romantic books and wouldn’t even put books of that genre down until I finished them because of how much happiness they brought brought me.

That’s until, I fell truly in love last year and then got really heartbroken after the breakup. I have yet to watch a romantic movie or a romantic book and enjoy it. Every love-themed book or movie sends me into a really dark place or just generally annoys me now.

So, I lost all interest in romance books and ,even now that I have moved on, I can’t seem to enjoy them anymore because I became so cynical.

Moral of the story: I definitely think that your mood or where you are in life affects which genres you indulge in as a reader.


Glynebbw t1_j1n126q wrote

This is me! I'm at a crisis now and can't find any books I'm really into. I am engaged to the love of my life though!


Tall_Cut4792 t1_j1n1l5t wrote

While I do maneuver every now and then, nothing has beaten slice of life and gothic since a few years now


MilkEnvironmental203 t1_j1n2rup wrote

My theory on my own change is that my nervous system growing up was regulated to chaos & cynicism, so I read books that provided those same feelings. Once I fell in love (real, safe, trusting, true love) my nervous system started to shift and regulate to safety & consistency. So now I can't read chaotic or cynical books anymore.


the-willow-witch t1_j1n4w1r wrote

Omg yes!!! I used to love reading really dark books. Like palahniuk and king and horror and just twisted stuff. It’s not just that I’m in a relationship it’s that I’m a mom as well and I can’t run the risk of accidentally reading a pet Sematary again so I try to read nice stuff 😅


secondhandbanshee t1_j1n7h2r wrote

Having kids definitely lowered my tolerance for the really dark stuff, especially if that stuff involves children. I've gotten tougher now that they're mostly grown, but it still hits me harder than when I was young and child-free.


OnyxRose31216 t1_j1nd9dq wrote

I had a bad home life when I was younger and was very into books about other adolescent girls living a more dramatic version of my life, involving their messed up upbringings and then the poor choices they made as a result. But then I like you fell in love, cleaned up my life, and my reading choices changed drastically, to where I read much more about how to live a good life than romanticize ruining it.


Blonde_Bookworm_ t1_j1nk98g wrote

I loved chick-flicks and sappy romance novels when I was single. Now I have the love of my life and don't care much for them. I'm way more excited about sci-fi and fantasy now.


calartnick t1_j1nnbq8 wrote

Since having kids I’m way less into apocalyptic scenarios. I don’t mind adults biting it but I hate thinking about innocent kids dying


Emcglynn27 t1_j1nvv75 wrote

Love is a wonderful thing. Wait until you have children - you'll start culling books you wouldn't want the kids to read if you died unexpectedly (like my ear-marked copy of AMERICAN PSYCHO).


LeoIsMyName09 t1_j1o0172 wrote

For me it was the other way around - I was single for a very long time and reading romances. I think it was in order to compensate for the lack of love in my life, but nothing satisfied me as much as reading love stories. Then, after getting into a relationship, I became more interested in darker books and romances started to bore me.


xaknidren t1_j1o1ydb wrote

My genre on music changes with my current status.


crh427 t1_j1o5iuc wrote

That's so funny to see this. I was just saying an hour ago how I used to love horror movies, but now I'm too soft and gore especially bothers me. I can't help but insert my partner or other loved ones in the situations I see.


theFCCgavemeHPV t1_j1o6kke wrote

I used to hate colors, especially bright colors and then I fell in love and got married and now I never wear all black. Love is a funny wonderful thing


Brewed_Awakenings314 t1_j1o77sf wrote

Different types of books make us feel certain ways, or can help us avoid certain feelings that we don’t want or are afraid to feel. A huge change in life circumstances - especially having to do with love and human connection - can change what emotions we feel lacking in, and what emotions we feel the need to avoid.

And also sometimes we can find an appreciation for things that help us connect with our partners. :)


gmasterson t1_j1o9tvy wrote

Not for books, but horror films. I used to watch some QUITE gory stuff. Didn’t even faze me.

Suddenly a day came and I immediately started saying on my head, “oh. That guy’s life just ended. Nothing else left”

It’s a FICTIONAL character but for some reasons it started making me look death in the mirror and I do NOT like those films anymore.


_luminary t1_j1o9v3h wrote

Same here. I loved reading and watching things about serial killers and how their minds work but now after being in a relationship I tend to avoid it as much as possible. Your vibration has been lifted it seems. Mine too


jcheroske t1_j1oamp4 wrote

A whole other genre awaits you after the fact.


Greenery72 t1_j1ob4e4 wrote

Hi, yes, as I read J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King , Dame Agatha Christie, Edith Pargeter, aka. Ellis Peters, Charles Dickens, John Grisham, G.K.Chesterton, particularly the Father Brown Mysteries, James Joyce, Mary Higgins Clark, Henry David Thoreau, Carolyn Keene, for the Nancy Drew Mysteries, Franklin W. Dixon , for the Hardy Boys' Mysteries, Richard Brautigan, for beat style writings, as well as books on Hallucinogenic/Psychedelic Plantlore, mainly Psilocybin Mushrooms and N,N, DMT, by Authors such as Jim DeKorne, D.M.Turner, Terence McKenna, as well as Herb lore writings by Maud Grieve, or, M. Grieve, Susun Weed, also writings on Crystals, Gemstones, and other Earthly Goodness, such as writings by Alan Lee and Brian Froud,for, hands down the BEST writings on Fairy Folklore!!;


Greenery72 t1_j1obah1 wrote

Read whatever you wish!


sometimes_a_cigar t1_j1obzej wrote

Happened to me after I had my first child. I used to love apocalyptic stories and just don't enjoy them the same way anymore. I'd rather think of a non-dystopic future for my children.


StarryEyes13 t1_j1oc5er wrote

This could partially be an age thing but in HS I absolutely loved YA fantasy romance & just romance in general.

In college I stopped reading & didn’t get back into it until 2019 - after graduation, starting a Fulltime job in my career, and falling in love & moving in with my SO.

Now my go to genres are nonfiction, historical fiction & fantasy. I read little to no romance - I guess I get enough of it IRL? And I think nonfiction & historical fiction scratch that itch of missing learning something new. But the love for fantasy has firmly stuck so that’s nice.


CapiCat t1_j1odvkq wrote

I didn’t experience this with books, but with music. I can’t listen to sad songs anymore. I used to get into the feels, but I just can’t relate so no sad or breakup songs for me for a few years now.


K8rTotCasserole t1_j1oexsz wrote

I loved romance books as a teen. As a married adult with a baby, I can’t force myself to get through them anymore. I’ve realized now that a lot of romance books don’t exactly depict healthy relationships (at least the ones I was reading didn’t) so It’s hard for me to describe my preferred genre now. If you’ve ever read a visit from the goon squad thats the type of book i enjoy most these days: a lot of characters with flaws, who’s stories intertwine, in realistic settings

Edit: I also went through a murder mystery/true crime phase. But since having a baby I can’t really stomach it anymore. Especially true crime media that’s sensationalized. I know I should’ve realized it sooner, but I would be livid if someone made money off of my loved one’s murder with their shitty book/show/podcast etc. That morbid curiosity has somewhat vanished for me and I think I’m a lot healthier emotionally for it tbh


sysaphiswaits t1_j1ohs26 wrote

Your taste in books will probably change wildly several times in your life. Some books just won’t make sense to you, unless you are in the right kind of headspace. Books I hated in high school were some of my favorites after graduating college.


minngyeoms t1_j1oiaxz wrote

I used to read mostly romance, and I also used to like to watch romance anime and play otome games. Ever since I got into a relationship I just haven’t been in the mood for any of those. I think I was using all the romance to try to fill a hole in my life that I was missing, and now that I have my own relationship it’s not necessary anymore. Now I don’t think this was replaced with a genre that my boyfriend prefers, but we like to go to book stores fairly regularly so now I’m being exposed to more different types of books than before.


Ashby238 t1_j1oihcp wrote

When I was with my ex husband I read so many romance novels and chick lit. I was trying to give myself the love and romance I was missing. When we divorced and then I fell in love and married my husband I hardly ever read the romance genre anymore. Now when I do it’s purely for entertainment not to fill a hole in my soul.

Strangely, since becoming super happily married I’ve upped my dystopian and urban fantasy reading a lot.


Audlife_Freedom t1_j1oj33g wrote

I recommend r/RomanceBooks ! Lots of good fantasy recs there too!


Flashfan11 t1_j1oroeo wrote

Had a recent tragedy and got BACK into fantasy/sci Fi but definitely on a darker note with reading Vampire D. Loving it


iruletheworld22 t1_j1osfjd wrote

Conversely, I've been married a while and am suddenly interested in books about women who kill their husbands 🤷🏼‍♀️


agathagarden t1_j1oxkcw wrote

After my son was born I could not read books with kids in peril. I am all over with genres, and things ebb and flow, but that was my biggest one. Congrats on finding happiness!


Nurokatt t1_j1oyr05 wrote

Tastes change, and those reasons are complex, so I'd say go with it and see where this new interest leads you.


AnokataX t1_j1p09ly wrote

I don't know if I have anything quite as striking. I have moved away from fantasy taste-wise, but that's more because all the battle shonen manga I read is fantasy, so for literature, I want something a smidge more grounded in real life, just with an actual story.

I did eventually read more romance, but it was far after my previous relationship, and I liked romance stories even during and before that, so there wasn't any shift. I guess the main one is children's novels - I tried rereading some as an adult, and I can't enjoy them as much anymore. Understandable of course.

I would probably be in a similar boat with others avoiding darker/gloomier stuff..but I've actually always been like that. So I suppose my tastes are mostly the same, just shifted a bit to older things over time.


slithrey t1_j1p0h9i wrote

I mean when you say you’re ‘in love’ what that really means is that your brain is being constantly exposed to chemicals that before it wasn’t. You are now on drugs, when before you weren’t on drugs. Any artist can tell you that doing drugs changes the content of their work.

Also from my personal experience, being depressed comes with identifying as depressed. You will engage in behaviors to maintain this identity. In order for me to move past being depressed I had to allow myself to die. I had to create a new identity for myself and completely drop my old self. My personality is still in tact, as that’s how personalities work, but I no longer carry my depressed view of my self. I started listening to podcasts more, when previously I would listen to music 24/7 and I started exercising more and caring about my health in general a little bit more. You’re a new person now. The depressed person you identified with can’t be you, because they weren’t in love, and you are in love. Remember your past self, and love them even, but don’t try to revive them. You could also look at it in the inverse. Maybe this is your true genre interest, but your brain on depression was the state more akin to being on drugs, and therefore your depressed brain was the one reading odd books, and now you’ve reverted back to your nature.


brakeled t1_j1p6ush wrote

I used to read romance probably until I met my husband. I typically read to experience things I can’t feel in real life, so I’m good on the romance and dramatic scenes involving authors describing bushes and lovemaking.


Gabrovi t1_j1p7e3n wrote

I can’t read certain things since having kids.


CIWA_blues t1_j1pm36h wrote

Yes!! It’s very weird to me. I was purely into novels and got lost in world building and all that since I was a little girl. Animorphs were. My. SHIT… so that type of thing onward. Left handed and used to draw/write and be very creative. I don’t know what the hell happened but as I grew up later on I stopped drawing, and got super interested in science and tech. Now I purely read non-fiction as I love to learn and have little patience for the fantasy aspect of some books. Strange.


Lawsuitup t1_j22crlw wrote

...theres always dark or grimdark fantasy! lol

A lot of people I see on YouTube talk about being mood readers. I suspect, this is you too. Its that or your evolving tastes.


Cyllene0684 t1_j1m3g51 wrote

Whoever that person is, is a keeper.


27bluestar t1_j1nu851 wrote

I got my wife into hopeful existentialism, like Albert Camus 🥹