I recently reread an old favorite from high school, a book that I thought was innovative, unique, fun, with a strong female protag, a romance that kept me on the edge of my seat, and a story that made me want to immerse myself in the world. Only, I didn't feel that way about it anymore. While I was reading I couldn't stop getting annoyed by the MC. I thought she was incredibly selfish and full of herself. Now there's nothing wrong with being confident in who you are, Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy is one of my favorite characters and she has more than enough confidence in herself, but the protag in this book was almost too confident, in such a way that I had to roll my eyes every now and then. And the romance, well, it was kind of twisted. I remember it making my heart swoon when I was younger, now I think it's a bit creepy and dysfunctional. The writing was still great, but the story had lost it's appeal. I felt old.
Back when I worked at Borders I remember my boss approaching me and asking whether or not I had read Catcher in the Rye. I had not, and I still haven't (hides from all the shoes). I don't really have a desire to ever read it. I have no issues with JD Salinger, in fact I loved, Franny and Zooey, another one of his books. Holden Caulfield's particular story just didn't sound interesting. Anyway, my manager told me she loved it in high school and decided to reread it and found that it did nothing for her anymore. She couldn't figure out whether it was the story itself or just her age, maybe she was beyond the angst and no longer related. Either way, she didn't care for it.
Is there something wrong with you as a person or a reader if you no longer love a book you used to? I don't think so. As we grow and mature (that's debatable) our tastes vary and change, we overcome hardships and trials and maybe, just maybe, we NEEDED those books we loved so much when we were younger (and even now) to help us to survive and understand the world. Yes, they shape us and our views, but that doesn't mean they'll always open our eyes to things we hadn't known before as we get older. The particular book I'm talking about (and, no, I won't tell you the title) helped to open MY reading world to all sorts of other books I might not have given a chance otherwise. So I still love it for opening that door, even if I don't relate to it anymore. And I know this isn't true for every story I've loved from when I was younger. There are plenty that I still enjoy in my old age, just this particular book had lost its luster. Has this ever happened to you as a reader?