I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my reading and reflection in general so I’m dedicating this post to my reading journey, how I came to be a reader and how my reading tastes have changed.
As a child/preteen:
I’ve always been a big reader ever since I was very young. I remember being practically obsessed with Scholastic Book Orders. Going to the library and having the librarian read to us aloud with her funny expressions was my favorite part of the week. It helped that my best friend back then read a lot as well. I even liked most of the books the teachers gave for assigned reading, things like Frindle and Esperanza Rising. For some reason, I didn’t read all that much during middle school unless it was to reread Harry Potter during my boring summers. I remember another friend of mine read a lot of manga in middle school and being the type of preteen who was easily influenced by her peers, I had to read manga too. My friend would let me borrow her (mostly shojo) manga including series like Ultra Maniac, and Kitchen Princess. I still have really fond memories of them.
As a teenager in high school:
My voracious reading (for pleasure) didn’t really start until I was a sophomore in high school when I was in biology lab one day and some of my friends about this guy named Peeta. They were talking really excitedly about him and whatever they were talking about sounded really interesting to me. They told me it was a book called The Hunger Games and that it was amazing and that I should read it. I borrowed it from them and finished it in a day. I guess you could say The Hunger Games was basically my gateway drug to my bookish addiction.
That and the fact that I walked to the library everyday after school so that my mom could pick me up. I had a lot of time to browse the books. The way I picked books to read back then was just to pick out a random book from the shelves and look at the summary at the back of the book. As can be expected, I continued to read more YA and some middle grade books though I mostly stuck to fantasy because I’ve been a fantasy fan for a long time. After a while, I started reading some adult books (besides the ones assigned in class) which kind of started with Flowers for Algernon. I really liked all the classics that I read in class so I started dabbling in classics like Fahrenheit 451 though I didn’t really appreciate classics until I attended college.
As a college student:
The summer before college was when I discovered the wonderland that is Booktube. I bingewatched the Readable’s channel’s videos and I wanted to read alllllllllllll the books.
I don’t think it really was until I was in college that I really started varying my reading. I mostly still read YA but I started to branch out to more adult genre fiction like Jurassic Park. But those were few and far between. It was until 2012 that I read a more balanced diet of both YA and adult. I started to become more picky with my reading. I no longer read books based on summary alone. I no longer browsed the library aimelessly looking for a book to read. I’m pretty sure this is when I started a TBR list lol. I actually remember that Game of Thrones was the very first book I put on my TBR. I looked at reviews before I read. And I think the variation in my reading grew exponentially in 2013 and 2014. I read classics, nonfiction, adult fantasy, scifi, horror etc. though not a lot of contemporary.
As of now, I find myself becoming more and more picky about the YA books I read. It’s just that I find myself more and more unsatisfied with a lot of YA. It’s not to say that I’ll stop reading it because I will always read YA no matter what. It sometimes provides the kind of entertainment I can’t get with other books. And I’ve always been comfortable reading whatever I want to read even if I’m a 21 year old reading a middle grade novel or reading a tome. Surprisingly though, I’ve read the most YA contemporary this year than I’ve ever had in my life which is odd because usually people grow out of YA contemporary. I’ve also read a lot more classics and literary fiction this year and will probably continue to do so. And that’s where I currently stand as a reader.
How has your reading tastes changed over the years? What was your gateway drug to wanting to read all the books?