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Poll: What reasons do old favorite books not work for...

What reasons do old favorite books not work for you anymore?

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This coming year will see a lot of re issues of older books.   It’s financially convenient for publishers as they’ve already paid the advance on that book.   Sometimes, though, our old favorites simply don’t hold up over time.   Keishon, Avidbookreader, blogged about her recent re-reading of Sandra Brown’s Tiger Prince.   Dated,   Keishon wrote, but still good.

For me, I have a mix. I recently went on a re-reading binge of old Linda Howard books. Her Kell Sabin series is one of my favorite series of all time (definitely worth tracking them down on the used bookstore circuit).   But I couldn’t re-read Whitney, My Love, without ruining all my electronics from the wall banging that would ensure.   I’m convinced that my unholy love for Whitney My Love came from the fact that I was emotionally at the same level of Whitney when I read it in my early teens.

What about you? Old favorites that you can’t bear to re-read?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:07:53

    How about an “all of the above (and then some)” choice?

  2. Kate Pearce
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:13:27

    I think that all the violence/rape/forced seduction kind of just rolled over me back in the early days. It’s only now that I read some of the early stuff and cringe. I’m not sure if it is because feminism has changed the way we see ourselves and how we value ourselves as women (I’m in my mid 40’s and I remember going to job interviews after college and regularly being told that I shouldn’t get a grad level job because I’d probably go off and have babies and waste the training.) Or if its simply that I’ve grown up to believe that all women have a right to say no.

    The Flame and the Flower and Whitney my love are also non-starters for me now-actually just thinking of Clayton Westmoreland and stoopid Whitney makes me foam at the mouth.

    Sometimes I do wonder whether being too politically correct tells some readers that their fantasies are wrong and they shouldn’t have them. Not sure how to deal with that though and very reluctant to wade into it :)

  3. library addict
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:19:12

    I voted other because it’s often a combination of “What you know now that you didn’t then” and “Changes in your sensibilities” often times due to “Change in your age.”

    I went on a JAK reread binge earlier this year and most of her books held up well. (I’m talking single titles, not her early categories). I still count Trust Me as one of my faves by her.

    I used to have every book Linda Howard wrote, but parted with more than half when I moved. The Kell Sabin books I kept, but the Mackenzies I had to say goodbye to.

  4. KatiDancy
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:20:25

    I still love W, ML, even though, yes the book offends many readers. I get why so many readers hate it, but I still love it. From the scene when Whitney comes to Clayton’s house on. I don’t even feel ashamed about it any more. Of course, my favorite romance is The Windflower, which I learned this past year, many romance readers hate.


    It’s why there really is a romance out there for everyone.

    The books I can’t stomach any more are Christine Feehan’s Carpathians. I tried to read Dark Magic about six months ago. It used to be may favorite of the Carpathians books. I literally couldn’t finish it. I think it’s a combination of vampire burn out and the fact that there are some really sophisticated PNRs out there. This series just no longer works for me on any level.

  5. katiebabs
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:23:16

    I can’t re-read any old Catherine Coulter historicals. The heroes in her books anger me with the talk of loving the heroine and still going to another woman for their physical needs.

  6. Jen
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:30:38

    I chose changes in sensibilities, and I have to agree with what Kate Pearce said above. There have been several posts over at imagining a competition for the worst 80s Romance hero and those posts sum up a lot of why I can’t stand those early books now. Half the time the hero has absolutely no redeeming qualities that make it even remotely plausible that the heroine would have feelings for him if she wasn’t a doormat.

    I think there have been such great strides in creating fully formed and believable characters that I can’t imagine going back to some of the older stories.

  7. Julie
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:52:46

    My problem is, once I started reading Georgette Heyer, no other historical romance measures up- even the ones I used to love.

  8. Lori
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 12:15:01

    I also need some way to vote for a combo platter of related reasons.

    I used to have every book Linda Howard wrote, but parted with more than half when I moved. The Kell Sabin books I kept, but the Mackenzies I had to say goodbye to.

    I’m sorry that you’re no longer able to enjoy books you once loved because that’s always sad, but I’m sort of relieved to hear that you had to get rid of the Mackenzie series. I recently read the first one and attempted the second and I just couldn’t understand the love that people seem to have for them. Maybe I simply read them too late to be able to see the attraction.

  9. AnotherLori
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 12:21:03

    When I first started reading romance the heroines were always much younger than the heroes and much, much more innocent.

    The JAK titles still hold up (I agree library addict!) but I’m afraid to try some of my other old favorites. Innocent heroines just don’t interest me anymore. Sensibilities have definitely changed.

  10. Cathy
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 12:24:06

    I voted “Other,” but really meant all of the above. There are so many books that I thought were just sooooo romantic when I was a teenager/early 20s that I now look back on (from the great old age of nearly-30) and just roll my eyes at. I’ve gotten older, my tastes have narrowed, I’ve been involved in my own romantic relationships, and generally have lived a bit so there are a whole lot of things I just don’t want to waste my leisure time reading about.

  11. Jinni
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 12:49:24

    Other . . . newer books are better, more emotional, more realistic (sometimes, less formulaic), and sometimes the older ones just don’t hold up in comparison.

    I used to read what was available – abusive heroes, teen heroines, Luke and Laura style rape, then love . . . etc. Now with beta heroes, men with compassion, and older (though maybe not old enough) heroines with jobs and backbones, all is better, and the old goes to

  12. KeriM
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:06:39

    I have two ends of the spectrum: I just recently reread Kinsale’s The Shadow and the Star and boy has it held up. I still adore that book. I also read Kathleen Eagle’s A View of the River. Now, I used to read KE like crazy, but at the time I stopped, I had alot of negative things going on in my life and I wanted romances with a harder edge. No sweetness, no light and no historicals. But I have to say, I had to make myself finish that book. I kept telling myself that it would get better and it never did. So after that I was afraid to pick up my older KE.

  13. Lorelie
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:27:06

    I think my biggest problem is what I now know about craft. Maybe of the oldies I can’t read without breaking down POVs and analyzing plot and motivation. *sigh* On one re-read, I ended up breaking out a pen and marking 17 POV changes within two and a half pages.

  14. Teal Ceagh
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:52:00

    I also found that my preferences were completely changed by the emergence of erotic fiction. It wasn’t a deliberate choice, either. It was a natural evolution that caught me by surprise. I actually stepped away from erotic romance a year or so ago, as I considered it not a good fit for me, and returned to what I considered “normal” romance. After a year, though, I found myself returning to erotic romance with a new enthusiasm for the genre.

  15. kimber an
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:58:11

    No vote here. I still love all the books I always have, including picture books from early childhood.

  16. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 13:59:36

    My problem is, once I started reading Georgette Heyer, no other historical romance measures up- even the ones I used to love.

    I started with Heyer, so this has always been true for me.

    The book that got me reading currently published historical romances was Mistress by Amanda Quick (I was trapped at a small airport and there were only three books in the tiny airport shop: a Stephen King novel I’d already read, a Tom Clancy novel I had no interest in reading, and Mistress). I bought it and was hooked (and surprised, LOL!). I quickly went through AQ’s back list, and then discovered Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens, Sabrina Jeffries, Jo Beverley, Loretta Chase, Julia Ross, and Pam Rosenthal . . .

  17. joanne
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:11:18

    I had to go with ‘other’ because I really have no idea why some books don’t work for me any longer but I know it’s not the big issues and that most of the books I loved back-in-the-day are still favorites.

    I pretty much knew who I was and what I would accept from and between a man and a woman in fiction when I first started reading romances (by gaslight, in a log cabin) and that still stands pretty much the same today.

    I wasn’t ever big on angst-filled stories so maybe that’s why my favs are still favs. I just wanted a good story with likeable protagonists and a HEA with no looonnng misunderstandings. For me, the good writing holds up no matter what the latest trends or hot buttons are.

    I do know I’m more apt to dump a paranormal series off my keeper shelf than I am a Historical Romance from the same time period so maybe it’s the world building that doesn’t stand the test of time.

  18. Donna Kowalczyk
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:17:28

    I’m afraid, frankly, to reread some of my early favorites for just these reasons. I read A Kingdom of Dreams before Whitney, My Love, and I’ve always considered it my all-time favorite book. But to be honest, I’m afraid to reread it, afraid to sully my memory of it, I guess. I can remember a pretty awful rape scene in an older Catherine Coulter, yet I used to love her books before then. I haven’t read her in years, probably never will again.

    But I do love Mackenzie’s Mountain, and didn’t read it for the first time but a few years ago. I tried to read another in the series, though, but couldn’t get into it.

  19. GrowlyCub
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:19:57

    The books I’ve re-read over the years multiple times have all held up well, but I just brought over one of the last batches of books stored in my parents’ attic in Germany and I’m kind of afraid to crack some of them open. I had no memory of owning a million Heather Graham (Pozzessere) books for example. I’ve also not re-read Deveraux, Garwood, Lowell, McNaught and Lindsey because I’m just not sure how I’ll like them or because they made me so mad with their behavior I won’t read any of their books any more (Coulter).

    Interesting about the Mackenzies. I never had any love for any but the first. Matter of fact, I hated what she did to Joe; that book was such a disappointment! But I recently re-read Wolf and Mary’s story and it still blew my socks off.

  20. Susan Wilbanks
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:24:03

    I would’ve voted “all of the above” if I’d had the option. Some books I’ve outgrown. I’d say they spoke to the emotional place or stage of maturity I was at when I first read them, but not anymore. And, like others have mentioned, I’m bothered now by the young, innocent heroines with jaded, experienced rakes that were so prevalent in the romances of yore. Back when I was young and innocent myself, I thought they were just fine!

    Knowledge is an issue, too. I used to think that the historical romances of the 80’s and early 90’s were more accurate than they are now. Some of them were, I think. But since I’ve started collecting old traditional Regencies whenever I find them in a UBS or thrift shop, I’ve realized that on the whole older books are just as full of historical howlers. It’s just that back then I hadn’t started writing about the era myself, so I didn’t notice botched titles, inaccurate annulment and inheritance plots, etc.

  21. Caty
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:29:41

    Another vote for ‘all of the above’. There are some authors I loved when I was 16 and still love (Georgette Heyer, for a start), there are others that I loved then and wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole now. I fully expect that in another 15 years I’ll look at some of the stuff I’m reading now and wonder what on earth I was thinking.

    For me personally, I think there’s “being generally better read now than I was fifteen years ago” as a subset of “changes in taste”: I’m probably a more demanding and discerning reader now than I was then.

  22. ReacherFan
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 14:53:15

    I used to like Cathrine Coulter, now I don’t like her at all. I keep my old JAK books, but avoid her new ones. They’ve held up well because mostly they use mature, self-assured women, not immature idiots of any age.

    I kept Open Season, but gave up Mr Perfect by Linda Howard. I used PBS to get a hardcover of Kiss and Tell by her and totally enjoyed re-reading it. Her Drop Dead Gorgeous went because the prima donna heroine got on my last nerve on a recent reread.

    One thing that nearly every long term keeper has is a sense of humor. Not farce, not slapstick, humor. Usually tart and witty, never cruel. And I absolutely LOATHE the TSTL heroines and Alpha-hole males!

    Books like The Flame and the Flower and WML were never on the keeper shelf. Books like Tai-Pan earned a permanent spot and just get better with time. One thing finding my older keeps and rereading them has done is remind me just how much I miss a complex, well researched story with great characters.

  23. Jody
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 15:08:25

    I’ve been reading romances for (cough) 30 years, give or take. The first romance I ever read was These Old Shades, after which I read every Heyer I could get my hands on. Still do. Heyer holds up for me for the same reasons I enjoy rereading Dickens, Wolfe and Galsworthy. Universality of emotion, depth and excellent writing make a book timeless and ageless no matter what the genre. In the hands of a gifted storyteller, a young and innocent heroine does not have to be TSTL and will be enjoyable reading for any age, experience and sensibility.

    It’s interesting that most of the books mentioned as holding up over time are historicals. I think we demand more of contemporary heroines and we’ll drop them like last seasons gauchos at every shift in the cultural wind. Hedonism and conspicuous consumption are charming in a young lady of the ton who has a penchant for cashmere and kid gloves, but in our current economic climate, a contemporary heroine who has to have, (and pays retail) for her D & G fix is just plain annoying and well, TSTL. In my opinion.

  24. theo
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 15:08:29

    It’s an Other vote for me too because it depends on the circumstances of the book. I could read all my old Victoria Holt books over and over and I think it’s because they are the ones I started with and they’ll always hold a special place, regardless. But there are others that I loved when I was young that I either can’t get through the first chapter of now because they’re boring, or they’ve become wallbangers, in which cases, I’d rather remember them fondly than to have those memories dashed against the wall along with the book…

  25. Azure
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 15:53:44

    Some old favorites don’t work for me anymore because I’ve outgrown them—such as the Sweet Valley High series. (Although I still own—and enjoy—a number of the Sunfire romances.)

    Others, like Catherine Coulter historicals, don’t hold up well when I’ve reread them. In fact, they’re downright cringe-worthy. About the only books of Coulter’s that are still on my shelf are The Sherbrooke Bride and Night Fire.

  26. daisy
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 16:26:36

    For reasons I won’t get into I quit reading romance in my mid-20’s after more than a decade of reading them. I moved on to suspense, mystery and to some degree romantic suspense.

    I have just recently begun to go back to reading romance (I am now in my mid-40’s) and find that most of the stories I used to love are just to simple for my tastes now. Honestly, the whole “big misunderstanding” issue bugs me to no end – if people would just talk to each other instead of listening to people who have an obvious, different agenda, the book could be resolved in a matter of a few pages. There are some really good romance authors out there and I have found that as long as the heroines are older than teenagers and the heroes are Alpha without being stupid and He-Man about it, then I enjoy the books.

    I quit trying to read my older romances though – the Lindsay’s, Deveraux’s, Garwoods, McNaught’s and Henley’s that populated my early reading. Just holding the books can make me smile and bring about warm memories of what I felt when I read them. I don’t want to spoil that.

  27. DS
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 16:30:36

    The only book I once loved passionately that stopped working for me was The Scarlet Pimpernel. I still love the story especially the A&E/BBC production with Richard Grant– but OMG the writing! And that scene near the end where Percy kisses his wife’s naked feet which should be dirty and bloody by then. I cringe at the idea.

  28. Elaine C.
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 19:10:18

    Jane, have you read the revised version of Judith McNaught’s Whitney, My Love???? I know the changes as I read it, but I like the revision.

    I also like Lisa Kleypas’ revised Only in Your Arms, (newly titled When Strangers Marry).

    Even though I I am drawn to the current marketing/publishing trend of all things supernatural and shape shifter… I still love to revisit my Garwood and McNaught historicals, my love for my old school Loveswepts by Laura London & Irish Johansen remains and I still get nostalgic for my earlier Linda Howard and Jayne Krentz alpha men (Even though I like their current style now too). So even though what I buy now is different, it’s because it’s what’s being offered. I still re-read from my library in-between my current series’ releases.

  29. Jane
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 19:43:08

    @Elaine C – I don’t know that I remember reading the revised version. I’m unsure of whether I would like it. Maybe I should just try????

  30. GrowlyCub
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 19:47:35

    There is a revised version of ‘Whitney’? Do tell more. I had no idea!

  31. Janine
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 20:50:46

    @GrowlyCub: McNaught describes the revised version in this AAR interview:

    In any event, in 1998, twelve years after Whitney, My Love was first published as an original paperback novel, Pocket Books decided to respond to readers’ and booksellers’ pleas for a hardcover version of the novel. Since Print-on-Demand wasn’t available back then, that decision to release WML as a hardcover was a very big deal, and a very big undertaking. It was decided that a one-time only, limited print-run would be made for a set number of copies, so that the hardcover version would aptly become a “Limited Edition, Collector’s Hardcover.”

    When I realized Pocket Books was going to go to all that trouble, I prevailed on them to let me add the one feature that had later become (another) “trademark” of mine – an Epilogue. When they agreed to that, I volunteered to hire an architect to do an artist’s rendering of my imaginary vision of Clayton Westmoreland’s country estate so that Pocket could include it in the hardcover. When they agreed to that, too, I hesitantly mentioned that there were two tiny things in the original manuscript that I rather regretted, and I asked them to let me alter the two scenes accordingly. They agreed to that, too. (This may seem now like a small concession, but this was back in the days of laborious typesetting, and altering one paragraph, let alone an entire scene, meant that the balance of the previously typeset pages was radically affected which created a very costly set of circumstances.)

    When Pocket consented to that last request, I toned down a scene involving my heroine, hero, and a riding crop, and I also clarified a scene that some women interpreted as a rape scene. In 1978, when I wrote Whitney, My Love neither of those two scenes were unusual or politically incorrect, but by 1998, they were both.

    To be bluntly honest, I don’t care one iota about being politically correct, but I do care very much about causing harm to any woman who reads my books. That’s the opposite of what I work – and live – to achieve. In 1978, I had no idea that physical abuse and rape were events that real women had to deal with and learn to survive. By 1998, we’d all discovered that was true, so I changed those two scenes.

    There is a lot more detail about the revision in this earlier AAR interview with McNaught.

  32. Tabitha
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 21:19:44

    I remember that I really enjoyed Whitney, My Love the first time I read it which was its original version. Now I can only skim the book when I do a “re-read”.

    I believe it is a combination of tastes and insight changed that have altered my reading interests — with small part due to that I have read more books now than I did then so more basis for comparison.

  33. Lorraine
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 21:23:42

    I’m with Kimber An, I didn’t vote because I still love all my books. Sometimes when I reread old favorites from the 70s or 80s I may be surprised and disappointed by certain actions of the hero, but the 25+ years of good memories I have of the book mitigate any current annoyance I may have toward him. I’m very forgiving of fictional characters.

    If I have the opportunity to read an old book that’s been revised or in its original state, I’ll always chose the original. Old skool doesn’t bother me at all, although I’m a bit bummed about what previous posters said about Catherine Coulter…I just picked up several of her old titles at the UBS. *shrug*

  34. GrowlyCub
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 21:33:00

    Thanks, Janine. I stopped reading and following Romanceland in the late 90s and completely missed this. Very interesting! I haven’t re-read WML in years, but I remember liking it a lot when I first did. I might have to search out this new version to read and compare.

    I thought her reaction to the reader outrage about rewrites and reissues interesting. I can’t help but think that she wasn’t paying all that much attention to what was going on in publishing, because I have bunches and bunches of rewrites in the house that date to the mid-90s. Mostly Signets that were expanded into historical romances (Coulter and Putney come immediately to mind), so I think that concern by readers was by no means as irrational as she seemed to think.

  35. Kerry
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 23:07:54

    I have two ends of the spectrum: I just recently reread Kinsale's The Shadow and the Star and boy has it held up.

    I agree, and I think that it’s because it’s IMO one of the best written books out there, as literature and not just as an example of the genre.

  36. medumb
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 02:36:29

    I am not a re-reader, but have noticed in the nine years I have been reading romance regularly that I occasionally outgrow authors.
    Christine Feehan and her Carpathian world brought me into romance, but after five books and wanting to biatchslap each of her heroines and kill the heroes I had to stop. Her other series stopped for the same reason, though I think I may have lasted longer with some.

  37. Marianne McA
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 04:32:14

    Just agreeing with everyone else, it’s a mixture. And Heyer has lasted, as has Mary Stewart.
    There are some old favourites which don’t work for me any more that I think there’s nothing wrong with – that is, it’s not that my tastes, sensibilities or anything else has changed.
    When I read the first Stehanie Plum, or Naked in Death, I loved them. Had I not read them then, but was instead reading them for the first time now, I think I’d have that same experience. But having followed both series, I read myself out of them – that is, some old favourites don’t work just because I’ve got all I can get out of the book or series already. I reread all the time, but I do think some books bear that better than others.
    Also, I think sometimes you love a book because it’s new and different at the time. I remember loving the first category I read where the heroine wasn’t a doormat, loving the first category where the hero had an ordinary job – that sort of thing. But when you come to reread, If you’ve subsequently read fifty others where the heroine isn’t a doormat, perhaps the first book now seems run-of-the-mill.

    Not books, but the film of The Dukes of Hazzard was on TV the other night. I suggested to the children we watch it: “We always watched this, it was fun!!!” but within five minutes was appalled – how could they have spoiled such a great TV show? So I made my daughter YouTube an episode of the original series, so I could show them how much, much better that was. Turns out, it was terrible too. Sometimes it’s better not to go back.
    (Press Gang, however, still holds up. Who would have thought?)

  38. April
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 07:00:26

    I completely stopped reading romance in my twenties. I had decided that they were all stupid–unequivocably!

    Not fair to ALL romance authors, I know. But I got SO sick of the “big misunderstanding,” the innocent virgin, the rape scenes, the alpha hero mis-treats the heroine through the whole book until he realizes he loves her….crap.

    For about 15 years the only romance I could stomach had to be by Nora Roberts (I love Nora, but I know there were probably other great romance authors at the time, I just kept getting my hands on the clunkers and the internet wasn’t around to inform of the really good ones like Laura Kinsale and Susan Wiggs–authors I’ve just recently discovered).

    So, within the past year I’ve turned back to romance with a bang, and find I can’t stomach my old favorites: Catherine Coulter, or any romantic suspense author that I used to read by the armloads (Sandra Brown, Tami Hoag, etc.). I guess I read entirely too many romances with some big suspense plotline to want to do it ever again.

    Now, I get highly annoyed by a suspense plotline fouling up my romance. Stick to the romance please! No stupid misunderstandings, betrayals, rape, and I could do without the virgins (though I understand the historicals will probably feature virgins).

  39. KristieJ
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 07:52:31

    I voted change in tastes. The real big author for me is Julie Garwood. Oh how I LOVED her books when they first came out. I still remember driving all over and checking out all the bookstores in the city I could find who looking for copies I didn’t have. And then not being able to read them fast enough and rereading and rereading again still.
    Then I tried Guardian Angel – my favourite at the time and wanting to almost cry ’cause I hated it. I decided not to try anymore in case the same thing happened. So I’m just going to stick with my fond memories. There is a big difference between me know and the me of 20 years ago.

  40. Kelly C.
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 08:00:13

    I voted for “other” because as the first poster said, what about all of the above and them some? :)

  41. XandraG
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 12:06:45

    I voted “Other” because as others have posted, it’s the combo platter. I can’t re-read some old favorites without either picking them apart for craft and such, or staring bewilderedly at the book and thinking about what was so new and fresh and emotionally ripping is now just so…so tired.

    The markets have changed. My tastes have changed. I’m now more frustrated with the heroine who isn’t strong enough and educated enough to make her own choices and abide by them–including her sexual choices. I remember loving the old “Silhouette Shadows” books with ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc. I recently tried re-reading one of my old favorites–Carla Cassidy’s “Silent Screams” which I literally disintegrated with re-reads…and it just wasn’t there. Same with the “Heart of the Wolf” series. It was so new and mysterious back then.

    Now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a live pack of werewolves (with all the peeing-on-the-couch alphaness that implies), and there are…rules. Subgenre conventions. Expectations. I remember reading vampire books where the vampire was something new and different and didn’t come with an entire ensemble cast of sequel fodder and a wardrobe straight out of S&M Barbie’s catalog.

    I think when a subgenre gains enough popularity it develops its own gestalt, and sometimes those early pioneers’ contributions don’t make it into the accepted body of the gestalt. Like the earlier Regencies developed a gestalt that had some serious historical errors, which nevertheless remained as accepted conventions in the genre.

    On the other hand…I’m revisiting the classics like Austen and Bronte and I’m finding I’m appreciating them so much more when there’s no paper due at the end of the read (actually, since I’m reading with Bookglutton, there’s no paper *in* the read, LOL)

  42. Bookwormom
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 12:18:27

    I want an “all of the above” choice as well. A few years ago I reread a couple of my keeper authors, Garwood & McNaught, and ended up trading them all. It was terrible. I was heartbroken and aghast. I’d finish one and ask myself why in the world did I ever keep that?! So now I go through my keepers once a year or so and toss whichever ones I can’t remember why I loved it. I still have quite a few, but they’re the ones that stand up to repeated rereads, at least for me. :) The only one I’m afraid to reread but have kept is the very first romance I remember reading. The nostalgia factor is is so high for that one title I can’t bear to part with it.

    Happy Weekend Reading Everyone~ Amanda

  43. Angelia Sparrow
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 15:43:42

    All the above.

    The stuff I devoured in my teens is repugnant to me a quarter-century later. If there wasn’t rape, I didn’t want it then. The stuff I loved in my 20s is appallingly BAD. Bad writing, bad philosophy, bad everything.

    I have trouble reading books these days because I always want to whip out my red pen. One Sherrilyn Kenyon left me counting POV changes during a single sex scene. I also tracked now many times she repeated her premise: she’s a virgin. he hasn’t been laid in 5000 years, it’s massive trust and true love!

    And even the horror! Leisure books is bad about proofing.

  44. willaful
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 16:48:00

    The above post is kind of confused… it makes it sound like Linda Howard wrote Whitney My Love. Which I suppose most people who read here would know isn’t true, but for some reason it bugs me.

    I haven’t been reading romance that long, but I’ve already outgrown some of the ones that I loved on first read, like Julia Quinn (way too cutesy) and Teresa Medeiros (prose too purple.) Actually, I still like Medeiros, I just feel a little self-conscious about it. :-)

  45. Suze
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 21:23:12

    Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. I devoured them as a tween. When I was in my twenties, I re-read On Golden Pond, which was always my favourite, and I wanted to kill all the characters. ALL of them. Blech.

    I also devoured Sergeanne Golon’s Angelique series as a tween, and was DYING to know what happened to the Peyracs after they got to Quebec. I had lush, wonderful fantasies about Cantor and Florimond. My local library has weeded the books out at some point in the last thirty years, so I haven’t had the opportunity to re-read, but if I’m remembering them correctly, I strongly doubt they’d appeal to me now.

  46. anon
    Aug 21, 2009 @ 23:27:04

    I chose “other.” Some of them I’ve outgrown; some my tastes have changed. But for others it’s more that the shine has worn off of for a particular author.

    Judith McNaught was one of my all-time favorites. All of her historicals were on my keeper shelf. Yet when I re-read some of her books last year it seemed all her heroes were the same. Same physical characteristics, same emotional issues. I think you could take the hero from one book, switch him with the hero of another book, and it wouldn’t have made much difference to the storyline. (The heroines too, but at least you’d notice a difference in hair color.) The one book I still enjoyed was A Kingdom of Dreams. Maybe because of the medieval setting.

    Nora Roberts was another long-time favorite. Some of her earlier books were on my keeper shelf. I loved her earlier trilogies. But I stopped reading her after she wrote one too many books about witches and warlocks or with supernatural elements. Just not my thing. I tried to read a couple of her newer romantic suspense books last year. Barely made it through the first one and gave up on the second one. After reading so many of her books, then taking a long break, I guess I just lost interest in her writing. Now the only books of hers that really stand out for me are her Chesapeake Bay series. But even those are no longer on my keeper shelf.

  47. ag
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 00:55:46

    I voted for Change in tastes. It’s reall as KristieJ puts it, “there’s a bg difference between the me now and the me 20 years ago.” I can’t read any sweet valleys without cringing, and in the end the books that still bear up are the true classics.

    Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is still a favourite. Julie Garwood was a favourite, but I’ve not gone back to reread Saving Grace. 10 years ago, I wouldn’t go near a paranormal/ fantasy let alone pick it up. Then Nalini Singh changed my POV with her Psy-Changeline series, and Kylie Chan with kung-fu kicking heroine saved he genre for me. Guess I was more puritan in my salad days.

  48. Carrie
    Aug 24, 2009 @ 05:40:45

    Well for me it was when I became a mom for the first time last year.

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