I have to admit, I have a fondness for third person, past tense in both reading and my own writing. In reading, it's more of a preference. I will read a first person novel, but it has to be really good to capture my interest. I think it's because I enjoy reading about other people and what they're going through and third person perspective allows me to watch them, feel for them whereas first person asks me to become them for a little while, which I find difficult. The difficulty arises because, unless the person is someone I can really identify with, I resist that.
As for writing, I have much the same problem. When I write I imagine a scene and through that imagination I watch my characters act and react, hear what they say, see what they do and write it down. When I try to do the same for first person, I find it difficult not to think of myself when writing 'I'. So I can't see the character. Does that make sense to anyone other than me?
Then we have tense. I've always written in past tense, and have enjoyed reading the same way. However, I've noticed a fondness for using present tense in writing of late and I have to say, unless it's a short story, I find it off-putting. I'm not sure why. I'm usually pretty open to new experiences and as I said, when reading a short story it doesn't bother me so much. But I recently tried to read The Windup Girl by