Is It Possible To Outgrow Books Over Time?

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Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my taste in reading material has changed over the years.

It’s quite an interesting topic to think about, actually. I found myself pretty amazed at how different my taste has become over the past few years.

Of course, there are some logical reasons behind this, the most obvious reason being age. In my experience, readers want to be able to relate to and identify with some of the character’s struggles in the book they’re reading. Because of the fact that young readers are constantly finding new interests and being introduced to new life struggles, their taste in books are constantly changing.

This brings me to the next question: what about adults? Although I doubt adults’ taste in reading material changes as rapidly as a child’s or a teenager’s, I do suspect that there must be some changes. For instance, if someone of any age is going through a really tough situation such as the death of a loved one or being diagnosed with a serious illness, they are probably going to want to read more books that reflect this situation. These kinds of situations can happen to anyone, which just goes to show how quickly your tastes can change with a major life event.

Okay, now I’ve talked about how people discover new favorite books and new favorite genres. But, what about outgrowing books, particularly favorites? Is there really such a thing?

There are two sides to this argument. On one hand, there’s plenty of books that I know I will never grow out of.

If you haven’t guessed yet, one of the series I know I will never outgrow is the Harry Potter series.

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Because in all honesty, Harry Potter was – is – so much more than an amazing, imaginative book series. These were the books that introduced me to my first real passion – reading. I have so many amazing memories associated with this series, and that isn’t about to change anytime soon. J. K. Rowling was a hugely influential part of my childhood.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I would still consider these books “favorites.” Sure, they introduced me to my love of reading and have been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years. But since then, I have discovered so many more amazing books that have instantly gone on my “favorites” shelf.

There are definitely books that I’ve read in the past few years that I think I have outgrown. The combination of my growing up and discovering new passions and some of the experiences I’ve been through have caused my taste to change dramatically. One of the most important aspects of a book for me is being able to relate to a character and their struggles, which is one of the reasons why I love contemporary – I want to be able to identify with the characters, and it seems like contemporary is the best genre to be able to do this with.

The bottom line is that reading tastes can certainly change over time, and that this is just a natural part of growing up and going through new experiences. And that’s completely okay! There are some things that I know I will never grow out of, and that’s okay too.


I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding this topic! Have your tastes changed as dramatically as mine have over the years? Or are there books you know you will always consider one of your favorites, no matter what? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Is It Possible To Outgrow Books Over Time?

  1. Great post. My tastes are constantly changing. For a while I was stuck on a few authors and read all their books. Recently I’ve craved certain book topics or story lines. I like deeper stuff in the winter and lighter stuff in the summer.

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  2. Such a great topic! I definitely think you can outgrow certain books- though in my case I nearly always go back to them eventually. It’s a bit like when I outgrew disney books and barbie dolls and (oh gosh can’t believe I’m saying this aloud on a book blog) even Harry Potter. Eventually I realised I was plain wrong about all of them (except the barbies, cos those things are weird- although not as weird as bratz- at least they have feet). I just think, especially with Harry Potter, I wasn’t the right age to enjoy them for a while (and also I was pissed about Sirius dying). For me, I was 7 when I started them, 14 when the last book came out, and 18 when the last film came out- in that space of time there was just no way my tastes weren’t going to change and I wasn’t going to like the same things all the time. Now though, I’ve done yet another u-turn and am super nostalgic about it (cos life’s all about the u-turns!)

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  3. Yeah totally possible 😀 Same boat as you for Harry Potter. I mean I love it with all my heart and I can reread it anytime. But as we grow up we will always find more books, and our favourites one will always be replaced xD -Trang

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  4. I definitely think it’s possible! There’s so many books I look back on and just know that I won’t enjoy any more. But with Harry Potter, that’s been one of my obsessions for over 10 years, so I doubt that love is going anywhere just yet haha!

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  5. I think that we do grow out of some books, but not the important ones, the ones that retain some sort of outside feeling or emotion, or books that helped shape our tastes in reading. For example, I quickly grew out of the Divergent books and the Maximum Ride books, but I don’t think I’ll ever really grow out of Mortal Instruments or Percy Jackson (both are series’ I read at important times in my life). IDK, though, that’s just my opinion 🙂 Great post!

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  6. good one! I have gotten much pickier over the years, especially as I’ve been spoiled by really good authors. I really won’t read anything these days that’s too dark or depressing, just don’t want to be in that world. Harry Potter is ageless of course, and of course Jane Austen will never get old!! 🙂

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  7. I’ve reread some of the books I loved as a child and found that it was actually bad or not that well written. It shows that my taste in books and my criticality has improved but I still somehow have that book close to me because of its memories.

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  8. I definitely think it’s possible to outgrow books. I mean, I love Harry Potter because it was the book series that got me into reading, and it taught me so much about life and friendship and all that stuff, but I definitely outgrew it after the last book came out. When the last movie of HP released, I felt really ambivalent – which really sucked (and I really wish I didn’t feel that way) because all my friends were sobbing that it was over and I felt like an ice queen. XD

    In a more short-term sense, I’m a big mood reader – sometimes I feel like fluffy romances, mindless NA, and then I’ll do a 180 and want gritty fantasy or involved dystopia.

    As for favourites, I always reserve those for books that made a significant impact on me – especially books that move me (to tears!) or books that change my outlook in life. I think when a book is able to change you so significantly, outgrowing doesn’t seem possible because it’s part of who you are?

    WOAH sorry I rambled there, and definitely went deep haha. All in all, fantastic post!

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  9. I agree with you, Harry Potter I will never out grow, ever. But I think some of my other favourite books that I loved as a kid I’ve out grown now. I’m recently reading a lot of my childhood books again, and some of them I wonder how I ever liked it in the first place. I think with that though I had more imagination then I do now & I understand a lot more now so things that aren’t logical I question. As for teen or adult books I haven’t gone to re-read a lot of those books, but when I hear someone talking about a book that I loved way back, and they don’t like it, and they list why, it makes me wonder why I liked it haha! Great post!

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  10. I definitely think it’s possible. The older we get, the more we see of the world and the more we experience, and sometimes we’re no longer able to relate to the books we liked when we were younger. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ❤

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  11. It’s definitely possible to outgrow books the older you get. I find this is happening to me right now, actually. I used to binge read romantic novels a few years ago, and now, some books I thought were awesome I cannot help but role by eyes when I re-read them. I started reading more fantasy books and non-fiction while I move away from romances; and it is so exciting! I am learning so much and I am stepping out of my comfort zone too, which is shaping to be an experience of true self discovery!

    Nihaad – Read & Seek

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