Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?
My reading stems from an innate curiosity about people and states of mind and, if I'm honest, from a greed for knowledge. I am greedy to possess knowledge. Sometimes it turns out that I'm more interested in the possession than in the acquisition - if bookstores were smorgasboards I would say that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I think 'oh, I really do want to know everything there is about amateur telescope use,' but really when it comes to getting through the book, I'd rather read a novel. If anything has changed it is perhaps my knowledge of myself. I know my taste better. I kid myself less. I still love fiction best and still flip back and forth between older works of fiction (more classic literature) and contemporary novels. I'm still a fan of English and Irish writers, and particularly contemporary women's voices. I still love biographies - though I don't read them as greedily as I used to. I still loathe self-help, I don't really like how-to either unless I really, really want to know (and even then I'm impatient), and I have a hard time getting through a book about history or politics no matter how interested in them I originally think I am. Sheila has gotten me to read some Robert Kaplan and some Ryszard Kapuscinski but it is always slower going for me than fiction. Any changes that have evolved in my reading have evolved because my work has changed dramatically. As a theater and opera director and acting teacher I used to read more biographies of composers, conductors, other artists. I read pretty much every acting technique book that came out if it had even the remotest connection to the way I worked. A lot of my reading was driven by research - even the fiction I read was the collecting process for a project's setting, a character's psychology, or I was thinking of adapting the entire work itself to a piece of theater. But when I worked in that field I did read books about science, particularly medicine, psychology, and the brain-mind-body connection. As an acting teacher that's what I was working with. In fact, those interests lead me to my interest in neuroscience, of which I'm now a student. I read more books about the brain now, and I read much more 'hard' science. There are also more books available for the reading public now about cognition in general and neuroscience in particular. It has become a niche. I am continually surprised that I'm actually interested in something that's popular when it's popular.