Top Ten Tuesday 19th Nov 2019 – Changes in My Reading Life

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.

25 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday 19th Nov 2019 – Changes in My Reading Life

  1. I also didn’t discover YA until adulthood. During my teens and college years, I read mostly classics. Lately I’ve been picking up less YA, feeling more pulled to Adult Fiction, but it’s nice to know that I can always go back. πŸ™‚ Great post!

    Here’s my TTT for this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dedra! It is so nice to just not limit ourselves to any one category of books. I just always go where my mood takes me and some days that’s ya and some days it’s classics whereas some days it’s literary adult fic… I just love the mix :))))

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  2. I also began reading YA as an adult and sort of did it backwards. Despite my preferences changing and going through times where I didn’t read as much, I will also always identify as a reader πŸ™‚ This was a great post from the heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you essentially did things backwards πŸ˜€ It’s a great way to experience YA and also have the allure of adult books in your youth. Also, thank you for sharing parts of your story in this post. It’s always nice to get to know bloggers more than just their opinions on certain genres and books πŸ˜€ Lovely post Emer! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jen!!! I just knew I couldn’t make a list for this post, it’s much too organic a subject matter for that for me :))) and yup! Found ya in such a roundabout way lol! Oh you should’ve known me when I was 15 and so super pretentious and wouldn’t dare LOOK at anything remotely YA πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ lol how I have changed… Well not that much really, I’m still super pretentious about some of my reads πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚

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  4. I remember loving pop up books too. I also went through a phase of being obsessed with Where’s Wally and similar puzzles books. I’d get a couple of stories out but also those too as I just loved doing them πŸ˜… I really enjoyed reading this post (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Charlotte!!! <3333 That really means a lot. I loved where's wally too… In fact I have a where's wally Halloween costume lol!!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But I loved activity books as a kid for sure. Stories mixed with puzzles were always a fav. :))))

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  5. β€œBooks have made me me” β€” couldn’t agree with you more, Emer! I love this post of yours taking it all the way back from childhood until now! I also discovered YA when I was out of my teens and I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading it tbh. I also don’t think I’d ever stick to one genre either! Mixing it up is definitely the way to go 😍 Fab post!

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    1. WOO HOO!!! Look at us bonding over similar bookish life journeys Dini :))))) I think YA somewhat later in life is an absolute joy. I wouldn’t change my reading journey one iota. Because I loved being a snotty teen who read only pretentious titles because I just loved getting to disagree with critics and awards panels…. I mean that snot nosed pretentious noob is still very much alive and well because I still do that LMAO!!! But discovering ya as an adult I think has given me a greater affinity with youth, I had to grow up quickly in a lot of ways and make very difficult life choices in my teens…and getting to go back now and read ya makes me feel less jaded about life. I find it truly invigorating. :))))

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  6. Lovely post. ❀ It's nice hearing about your reading past/childhood, very nostalgic. I had similar experiences with reading. Loved reading as a kid and was into the usual series (Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley, Nancy Drew, etc) very much stopped during adolescence and when YA became huge, played catch up in a sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kitty!!!! It’s great to meet another similarly souled reader :))) I just can’t imagine a life without reading. Every birthday, every Christmas there were always books, I joined the library from the earliest age… Books have been my constant companions and long may that continue :)))) <3333

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  7. I love being able to mix up my reading as an adult by reading adult, YA and even MG fiction (something I’d like to try reading more of going forward!), and I love what you said about YA giving you the opportunity to experience the teenage experience you felt as though you’d missed. Books are powerful things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jess!!! Books are amazing. I always feel sorrowful when I think of people who don’t share our joy for reading. I feel they miss out on so much. Books are truly transformative and just make life so much better when you can get lost in their pages :))))) <333

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