Reading, more specifically one’s taste in reading, is something that develops over time. I didn’t realize this when I was younger. I was tearing through fantasy novels at a startling pace and was calling stuff “favorite” without as much thought as that term deserved. I went back not long ago to reread a novel that held a cherished spot on my shelves. Actually – it was a trilogy, and I intended to go back through the whole thing. The cover was colorful, the cover artwork amazing, my memories winding up. I sat down with my coffee in my comfy chair and pried open the paper pages that had sat, unimposing in my room for those many years.

It was unreadable. I was (and am) desperate to go back and enjoy it, but I can’t. I don’t know how I thought it was so amazing.

Scratch that. I know why I thought it was so amazing. I wonder how it has remained as popular as it has for all this time. I suspect it’s the idea, or the concept or the history or even the artwork – but it can’t be the writing.

This is one of those relationship things that most guys hate I suspect. It’s not you – it’s me. My taste, my desires for stories and how they are presented has developed over time and I’ve entered a new stage in my consumption of entertainment, particularly the books I read. I have learned over time what I like and what I don’t, things I need in a story and things I don’t want to see. I have moved to a new stage of reading in my life. I won’t simply write off books anymore, I simply add them to another category in my mind.

This week has me wondering if science fiction conventions are the same way for me. I’m headed to Philcon this coming weekend. There was a day when I would have had a legal size (or larger) sheet of paper laid out with a grid of time slots shown and a pack of multi-colored highlighters to organize how I was going to squeeze as many panels in as I could in the short span of a weekend. This time, not so much. I glanced at the schedule grid and have tried to pick out a handful of panels to get to, but I’m much more interested in seeing my friends and spending time with other people that share interests that I do. It’s another stage, not good or bad, simply different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking forward to the convention. I’ve never failed to have a good time on a weekend away – I’ll just keep the other stages in mind when I see folks dashing here and there and attempt to enjoy the fact they revel in their current stage as much as I do mine.

One thought on “Stages

  1. Amazing the stuff you cherish until you go back and suddenly you’re confronted with the truth that it’s drekk and you’ve learned to discern that. It’s a little like trying to go back to your old elementary school and realizing how terribly small and plain the playground you loved really is or is it just how big you’ve gotten?

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