Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic is Changes in My Reading Life
Oh what a great topic this week!! I’ve been reading since I was a child so well over thirty years…
Yes I know…
Makes me older than you all probably thought as I don’t act or sound like someone in their late thirties but well here we are… forever immature lol!
But over the years there have been many marked differences in how I read and in what I would consider my favourite genre… so much so that now when you ask me what is my fav genre I don’t think I could reliably tell you!!
As with any child I started out reading picture books, learning the alphabet etc….
I have a vivid image in my mind’s eye of my alphabet book from childhood. I no longer have it in my physical possession but those bright and colourful images left such an indelible mark on my whole person that it does not matter that the physical book has been lost to the annals of time.
From there I moved to pop up books…
Honestly pop up books are the best thing ever. I almost wish they had them for adults. I had this amazing one set on a farm and rabbits would pop out of fields, horses would chew hay, the farmer would doff his hat… I had not only hours of fun with that book but probably years.
As I grew a little older I discovered fairytales and The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast became firm favourites.
But my clearest memories of reading start from when I was about 8 years old. That was when the reading bug truly took hold.
I read everything I could get my hands on over those 8 – 12 years… from Little Women to Nancy Drew, from What Katy Did to The Babysitter’s Club, from Anne of Green Gables to Sweet Valley High, from When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit to Point Horror…
You name it and I read it.
I read timeless children’s classics. I read the modern middle grade books of that era. I read historical fiction. I read a lot of science and nature non-fiction (no wonder I ultimately became a research scientist). I read fantasy; including all the Narnia series even though I didn’t like the books!!! That’s something that has not changed with me in thirty years. I read books as a child that were hyped or were on those must read lists irrespective of whether or not the genre or blurb appealed to me. And as an adult I still read in that same way.
And then when my early teens hit I left my childhood books behind and pretty much skipped anything that looked at all YA and read almost exclusively adult fiction. Most notably classics be they traditional or modern. Austen, Dickens, Hugo, Wallace, Wilde, Salinger, Heller, Irving…
In my late teens my chronic illness had really taken hold and for a number of years I was actually able to read a lot less books than I had in my childhood and early teens. I just did not have the energy to read as I would have liked… I still read an odd book here or there (I see you Frank McCourt…) but mostly I found myself listening to a lot of music instead of reading.
It wasn’t until my mid 20s that the book bug came back with a bang and I discovered a whole new genre of books…
That of YA.
So yes… I read sorta backwards….
Ignored YA as a teen but fully embraced it as an adult.
In YA I found books that gave me the teenage experience I felt I had missed out on due to my illness. I found understanding. I found empathy. I found hope. I found characters that lived both ordinarily and extraordinarily. I found myself at a time when I did not know who I was.
And so in the last ten to fifteen years I have mixed up my reading choices with adult titles (both literary and general) with my undying love for classics and my happy place that is YA.
And I don’t see my reading choices changing all that dramatically for the foreseeable future.
Because I forever mix things up. I rarely read two books of the same genre in a row. I read light hearted books, heavy emotional books, non-fiction… Pretty much if you write something and bind it in a beautiful book I will read it…
What has not changed over the years is that I have always identified myself as a reader. I have always felt at my most comfortable sitting on the floor of a library (or bookstore) flicking through a book attempting to discern if it is for me…
I love books.
They are a part of my make up.
All the words I have read over the years have helped to form the person I have become today. Books have entertained me, educated me, helped me to understand different points of view, changed my points of view, tested my beliefs, have brought me to far off places without leaving my home, have comforted me in times of grief, have helped me figure out who I am, have made me feel that I am not alone…
Books have made me me.
And I will forever be grateful to the talented writers that pour their hearts and souls into these pages so that the rest of us may be so enriched.
And that is my TTT for this week. Not a traditional list but a post that came from the heart.