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Book Lovers – are you cosy or edgy? And ‘old’?

I belong to a wonderful group called Books for Older Readers. Now before you wonder why a group would restrict itself to people who are ‘old’, consider this.

I am old – by definition –since the media frequently refer to people over the age of 60 as elderly (I wonder how those who are a decade and two older than me feel about that). Goodness only know where the years went but suddenly I find my self in the old-age category.

There are a lot of people like me who have lived a full life but I’m also many other things: creative, short, happy, a mother, a wife, a friend and so much more. But mostly, a reader (oh, and I write too). There are many others like me but just like books we don’t fit into any one category.

If I am to categorise myself like booksellers shelve their wares, where do I fit? I’m of European descent (historical fiction), Celtic to be specific (lots of Scottish, Irish and Welsh history, romance and power struggles), female (women’s fiction and romance), and married to a man (self-help books on the secrets of a long marriage).

We have one daughter and one son (adult readers), two granddaughters and two grandsons (past the picture books and chapter books stage and into YA and New Age, and whatever else the current trends are) and I’m in my seventh decade. That means I’m well and truly decrepit. If 60 is elderly, what is 70, 80 or 90? Ancient monuments or lively characters? I’d prefer the latter description.

We should fight back, but in my experience we don’t, we tend to age a little more gracefully. What we do instead, is bring a world of experience to the conversation. We have stories to tell about life, about world events and family tragedies and ways of coping. We have lived and thus, we have knowledge, sometimes learnt the hard way and are happy to share what we enjoy and express an opinion on what we don’t.

So, by definition, I’m white, female, straight and old. I’m not sure I like the last description but one cannot deny one’s age never mind how hard we try. And because of one’s age, there are topics some of us may not want to read about. As I grow older, I dislike watching or reading about violence, which I find gratuitous, torturous or needless. I don’t need to read detailed descriptions of what two people do together in the name of love, I know what I know. Werewolves, and shape shifters do nothing for me. I like cosy. Others may like edgy, but I do like to read about topics that concern me.

Topics such as those about second chances, late life career changes, adjusting to retirement, bereavement, love in later life, divorce, relationships with adult offspring and aging parents. I love stories with older characters whose age is in some way central to the plot. All of this with a touch of laughter, a touch of sadness, and without stereotyping any of the characters.

We are all different, and we like to read a range of topics. Hurray for readers who love their chosen genres and talk about their favourite books. Every author deserves to be read. They pour their heart and soul into writing what they love so the readers can be entertained and taken out of themselves for a while. So I quite like it that I know BFOR will offer me books I will enjoy. There’s lots of choice.

Check them out – you might be surprised by what you find. There is a depth to the writing to be found on the site, with nuances and laughter that we older folk understand.

Share the books you love, comment and add to the conversation. The more engagement, the better.

Catch up with Claire Baldry who established BFOR in October 2017 to promote books (mainly fiction) with older protagonists or themes such as ‘second chances’, which she believes tends to appeal to readers in mid-life or beyond on Facebook or their website

You can find me and The Cornish Knot on Bookshelf 4

And find my other historical fiction family sagas set in New Zealand on my website

I’d love to meet you.

 

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Isabella Muir
    August 13, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for this really interesting post. It is so true that authors love to hear from readers! Writing can be an isolating pursuit, but so much less so when an author receives feedback. Now, with BFOR, readers and authors can feel part of one great community – spread across the world! How great is that!

    • Reply
      VickyA
      August 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Isabella. The more we communicate the better we understand.

  • Reply
    Celia
    August 13, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Hello Vicky,
    what a good post! Nice to meet you via BFOR and thanks to Claire for bringing us all together. I’m enjoying this Blog Blitz month. I hope there’s another one in the near future.
    Best wishes to you,
    Celia Smith (author name Celia Micklefield)

    • Reply
      VickyA
      August 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Celia. Lovely to meet other BFOR readers and writers.

  • Reply
    Liz Hinds
    August 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Vicky,
    Good to meet you.
    I’m cosy by choice too. Life has enough ups and downs without added misery.
    Incidentally you don;t look ‘old’!

    • Reply
      VickyA
      August 21, 2019 at 8:14 am

      Thanks Liz. It’s nice to meet you too and I appreciate the compliment. I think that was my point, we get labelled old when we don’t feel it, don’t act it and don’t look it, so why are so many of our age group stereotyped by what our grandmothers looked like?

    • Reply
      VickyA
      September 25, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Liz
      Thanks for the compliment – and I agree, life (and the news) offers enough misery without reading about more for pleasure. It’s a different discussion if our reading is designed to be educational and informative. And sometimes we need to know about past miseries to prevent new ones, if we can.

  • Reply
    Books for Older readers (#BFOR) BlogBlitz Day #08 | Frank Prem Poetry
    August 14, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    […] Day 8 of the #BlogBlitz takes us to New Zealand based historical fiction writer Vicky Adin, who asks… […]

  • Reply
    Frank Prem
    August 14, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    well said, Vicky.

    You across the ditch? I’m in Victoria, Australia, here. A little town up near the NSW border.

    Cheers.

    • Reply
      VickyA
      August 21, 2019 at 8:12 am

      Yes, I live in New Zealand a little north of Auckland. I’ve travelled a bit around Australia and enjoy Victoria a lot.

  • Reply
    Pamela Allegretto
    August 19, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Wonderful post! Thanks, from one 70 plus-er to another. Cheers to you!

    • Reply
      VickyA
      August 21, 2019 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Pamela

  • Reply
    Pamela Allegretto
    August 19, 2019 at 5:35 am

    Thanks! From one 70-plus-er to another.

  • Reply
    Val Portelli
    August 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Vicky. Thanks for liking my BFOR blog post. As well as organising a fascinating blog blitz, Claire seems to have inadvertently opened up a way for like-minded readers and ‘authors of a certain age’ to cyber-meet.
    They say age is a number, but I’m sure there are planets where we would be considered ‘youngsters.’ Meet you there. 😀

  • Reply
    VickyA
    September 3, 2019 at 7:16 am

    I agree Val. I love meeting readers and writers too. The more we connect the better, I say.

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