Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Thursday!

Most of the week, I've been over at Bitten by Books, doing an interview and answering questions from the readers. (This is a great site!! Highly recommend everyone checking it out!! I also conducted the same little survey that I did here last week, but more about that in a future post.) I had a great time...I met a lot of new readers and received a lot of insightful questions!

However one reader asked me to comment on a remark that she had read on another blog-really took me by surprise-I'd never heard of this before. As a result I'd thought I'd ask you if you'd ever come across this line of thought. Here's the comment she read on the other blog. It stated that people only enjoy books written by authors within ten years of their own age. (She thought it was kind of out of left field-I agreed. My response was if true, with my age being what it is, most of my readers could use their senior citizen's discount card! *g*)

What do you think? Is there any validity to this statement? Do a lot of people only read books by authors close to their own age?

That's it for this week-everyone have a good one!

Best,
Shirley

14 comments:

Sharon said...

wow, I have no idea. I guess most of the authors I read are about my age (I'm 42). It is probably a generation thing. Authors of my generation would write about things that interested or influenced the thoughts of our generation. We would all kind of have the same style preferences, same ideas of how a man and woman would interact and the situations they could be put in, the language they would use. It makes sense to me, but I'm not sure I can explain why in a non-rambling way . And anyway I don't know how old my favorite writers are. The bios are so vague and the pictures on covers are usually outdated . They is no telling how old an author is unless you've met them. And I have only met one.

SandyG265 said...

I can't say that I've ever considered an author's age when I've read a book. I'm just looking for a well written story that I'll enjoy.

Blodeuedd said...

So then the oldest I would read would have to be 37...how boring. I wonder who wrote that

Zita said...

Hmmm. I think that's a generalization. There's probably some truth to that. I particularly agree with what Sharon said. For someone my age (46), it's probably also true that a lot of the authors I read are 15-20 years younger than I am. When you consider that there is no magic age when an author first publishes, I am inclined to think that the statement is less than accurate.

Rosie said...

Honestly, I've read so many different authors and I rarely know their age bracket. It doesn't matter to me how old or young the author is, as long as I enjoy the book. :-)

Diane P said...

I don't care how old an author is as long as they write well. I am old enough that I am pretty sure they are not within 10 years of my age.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

{BURST OF LAUGHTER} What a load of... {clear throat}

{Amused Smile} Sorry, but I'm a second-generation science fiction and fantasy fan, so I share a lot of favorite authors with my parents, who are 40 years older than me. (They turn 81 this year, while I turned 41.) {SMILE}

I started to list all the favorites at least two of us share, but there are well over a dozen. The oldest - JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis - fought in WWI over a decade before my parents were born. The youngest might be near my age, but most feel notably older. In fact, I think the largest age group are the baby boomers, who are older than me, but younger than my parents. {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Jessi said...

I don't really think that's true. Granted, my favorite author right now is only a month older than I am but, still, if the story is good, that's what sucks me in. Age doesn't matter as much. I have to make 1 superficial confession though: The only thing that really turns me away from a story is reading an intimate scene when the author is either a lot older than me or if they are creepy looking. I have 1 author in mind who I 'm not going to name but she is extremely popular right now. I get chills just thinking about it. :p

e_booklover said...

I have to disagree with that. Some certainly are but others I have been reading for 20 years and I know they weren't in their teens when I started reading them. And I have other favorite authors who have sadly retired from writing due to their advanced age.

Venus Vaughn said...

Perhaps for romance that might hold true, but I can't help but think of the YA market. That thesis would never work in that genre.

Shirley Damsgaard said...

Thanks for the comments!! They were all really interesting! Personally, I can see how the age of the character might influence the reader. Considering my age, I know dewy eyed ingĂ©nues just don't do it for me anymore!! But like you, I don't have a clue as to the age of most of the authors I read. Just guessing—one of my favorites whom I've mentioned many times...Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Micheals...is probably in her seventies. Then there's Lisa Lutz, author of the Spellman Files...from her picture I'd guess her to be in her late twenties, maybe thirties. So there you go—between Ms. Peters and Ms. Lutz that's about a forty year age span!! Yet both women have created protagonists that I really enjoy!

I guess bottom line—it's all about the story, isn't it??

Best,
Shirley

Sharon said...

Oh Jessi, I think I might know who you are talking about .

Colleen said...

Good grief, no! I have no idea what age most of the authors I read are, and I don't particularly care, either. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that I read authors long dead and gone.

I can see - somewhat - where this view may come from, as it indicates a likely match when dealing with cultural expectations and "current" issues, but to limit yourself that way smacks of missing the point of fiction. If I only read books written by 30-somethings, about 30something female accountants, how does this expand or entertain me?

Perhaps as a predominantly SFF reader, I'm somewhat immune to this syndrome? If I had to wait for 30something authors to write about 30something characters, I'd run out of books in a hurry.

Jess Granger said...

Within 10 years of their own age is a huge time span! That's 20 years, or a quarter of our lives.

Assuming not very many elementary school aged kids write novels, you're cutting the life span of humans down even more.

I don't think there's a whole lot of validity to this. I think we naturally fall in a bell curve of "adult" age, and mostly other authors will fall in there too.

Children don't read books written by people their own age, and I have and certainly do read books written by authors much older than myself.

I don't buy it. I think that's squishy numbers working.