This year I read a lot more books than I have in recent years--probably because my whippersnapper is at an age where I can spend more time reading. And also, Goodreads absolutely is a God send in terms of keeping track. I used to keep an Excel file of books I read with little notes because I couldn't remember books I'd read the previous year. Let's just say that since having children, my mind has gone to pot.
Anyway, when I was younger I used to do a lot of re-reading of my books, but this year I don't think I re-read anything. I've been too busy hungrily reading new things in order to learn about writing (from fiction)--and also because I have this fear that I must read, read, read in case I am hit by a bus or something. But a few weeks ago, Tawna Fenske had a great post about re-reading books at different stages in your life and having a completely different perspective each time your read. That's the joy of re-reading, of course. Tawna points to Diana Galbaldon's Outlander as one of her favorites, and how depending on what age you are when you read it, you might have different reactions to the age difference between Claire and Jamie. It was a great point.
I think this happens when we write and age, too. For example, one of my most all time favorite authors, Marian Keyes, has said that she writes characters that generally match her own age. So her first novel has a main character who is about 30. Each subsequent book has older character--not by much, but a year or two. I noticed that I've done this, too. The first novel I ever wrote had a main character who was a resolute 26. Subsequent novels had characters (all women) who creeped up on age 30, and now I'm up to 33 and 34 without a bat of the eye. It just feels right.
It would follow that to challenge myself, I should probably think about writing characters at a totally different age than myself, but that's a post for another time.
Do you do this? Do your characters follow your own age, and have they done so in the evolution of your writing development? What about stories you enjoy? Do you like reading books with characters you own age?