What Do People Read? Random Thoughts About Books

Recent posts about reading and writing have made me wonder just what people read these days? When I started reading eBooks I noticed that a lot of the books available through Amazon at least seem to be series books on a theme and it makes me wonder if it is easier to get books published if you write to a formula. Fellow bloggers who have had books published may like to comment.

I am just curious about what sort of books people like to read. I’ve always been an eclectic reader myself. I go through periods of reading different types of books. I like biographies and autobiographies. I recently finished listening to “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and enjoyed it very much. I’ve read and enjoyed books about movie stars, royalty, and cricketers as well as political figures.

Deja Vu, second-hand bookshop near Salamanca Place, Hobart.

I like travel and lifestyle books especially if they are humourous. I recently finished one called “Apple Island Wife” by Fiona Stocker about a family who relocated to Tasmania from Queensland and their life on a farm. I especially liked it because it was about Tasmania but I always enjoy this genre. “The Egg and I” and other books by Betty MacDonald are favourites from way back. I read Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson and others for travel stories including some very old books I’ve bought at book sales or second- hand book shops.

I have favourite novels I read over and over. Some of them are classic literature. “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Villette”, “Vanity Fair” although I have to be in the mood for that. I love “A Christmas Carol” but although I have read “Oliver Twist”, “David Copperfield” and have tried to read some other Dickens books he is rather hard work to read.

Old Favourites

I used to read a lot of science fiction, I still do occasionally. David introduced me to Isaac Asimov and I enjoyed his early books, the ones he wrote later in life not so much. I felt he was tying himself in knots trying to connect everything he had written previously. A lot of SF books can be grim and these days if I want grim I’ll read the news. I go back to the humorous ones like “Where Were You Last Pluterday?” , “The Technicolour Time Machine” by Harry Harrison and of course “The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy”. A few months ago I was trying to read a book called “The Last Librarian” but abandoned it about halfway through because I was finding it somewhat depressing. I may or may not go back and finish it sometime.

Photo by Matthias Weinberger https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

At the Op Shop, where the bookroom was one of my pet projects, I often saw familiar authors on the shelves. I’ve read plenty of John Grisham books, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay. I’d see David’s favourites, Wilbur Smith and Clive Cussler frequently. I read quite a few of those but often found them too violent for my taste although the historical parts were interesting. Stephen King is still popular, whenever his books came in they didn’t stay long. I don’t care for horror but I did read 11/22/63 which was a good book although it was not easy for me to read. (Thanks to Marilyn for the recommendation. I wouldn’t have picked that one up on my own.) I read “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and its sequels on the recommendation of a friend too and found them very absorbing but wouldn’t read them again (violence). I read historical fiction which while I don’t expect it to be 100% accurate I prefer to at least be plausible and I sometimes read detective novels and even the occasional bodice ripper.

One of the most frequently donated series of books at the Op Shop was the “50 Shades of Grey” series. I think that as of last month there were three complete sets and we’d already moved on at least one other. I wondered why these books turned up so often? Do people really like them or did they just buy them because everyone was talking about them?

So fellow readers, what do you enjoy reading?



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. Try “Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book One” (The Chronicles of St Mary’s 1)
    by Jodi Taylor. Not only is she a wonderful (British) author, but she is smart, funny, and a great historian. It’s Time Travel where historians go back to a specific major event in history to see what REALLY happened. I think you will love them.


    • I have read a few of those Marilyn after you wrote about them one time. I think I got up to the third or fourth book and I did love them. I’ll definitely be reading more.


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