How Has My Reading Changed?

Hello friends! Today’s post is going to be a mix of a discussion as well as a reflection about how I’ve changed as a reader over the past few years. I’m not unique in taking this time to reflect as I’ve come across several posts with similar themes as I’ve been catching up on all the posts I missed while I was busy with school these past few months and didn’t prioritize reading. So check out Ellyn’s post if you’re interested in an analysis of past Goodreads challenges to see how reading has changed, and check out Marie’s post to see how her book blogging has affected her reading! But now it’s time for my take on the matter!

There are lots of obvious ways that I’ve found I’ve changed as a reader over the years. But what I find interesting about all of these changes is the WHY. What happened to make my reading evolve to the place I’m at right now? And what do I anticipate about changes to my reading given the fact that so much is about to change in my life? Well, let’s discuss!

One of the aspects of my reading that I’ve noticed has changed is the fact that I’m barely reading YA anymore. This is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, because up through 2020, I was still reading a lot of YA, but then that abruptly stopped in 2021. I didn’t even realize how abrupt this change was until I looked back at the books I read in previous years. I knew I stopped reading a lot of YA in recent years, but just how drastically I made that change shocked even me. Another interesting aspect about this change is that I know I’m not alone in this. I have seen many bookish content creators talk about the fact that they no longer read as much YA. So obviously this is not just a me thing.

However, I can only speak about myself about the reasons I suspect that I’m no longer reading YA. I think one of the biggest reasons that I stopped reading YA was that I became more interested the adult version of the YA stories I read. I primarily read YA contemporaries that focused on the romance, and with my love of adult romance only growing over the years, I realized that I enjoyed the adult versions better. Part of this stems from the fact that I’m no longer close to high school. At this point I can relate a lot more to adult versions of relationships than teenage ones.

To be clear, I have nothing against YA, and will probably still continue to pick up some books that interest me that are YA, but I no longer keep up with what’s being published as much, nor do I tend to reach for YA much. I think that a lot of the stories being published now are a lot more diverse and have so many benefits, but I also feel like a lot more stories are taking darker or more mature turns that I don’t gravitate towards. It’s weird feeling so detached from stories and authors that used to dominate so much of what I read, but I guess that’s getting older for you!

This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve switched my primary reading genre, since I used to read a lot more fantasy, and now that’s a pretty rare occurrence. However, what’s interesting to me is how much circumstance affects what I read. I’ve only been blogging for 4 years. And while 4 years is a lot of time, it’s only a fraction of the years I’ve been reading. In fact, this blog has only been around while I was in college, and college affected how I read quite a bit.

Firstly, my switch towards graphic novels and adult romances was very much driven by the fact that I was in college and had no brain power. My course load was very intense, and my brain seemed to find graphic novels and adult romances to be the easiest stories to consume. One of the things I expect to happen in the next few months is that the genres that I start reading may broaden. Now that I’ve graduated, I have more brain power to spend on more complex worlds, writing, and themes. That means I’m going to attempt to reintroduce some classics, non-fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy into what I read. I have a feeling it might take a while, but I think it will be nice to rediscover these genres that I used to enjoy so much!

Me in college

However, genre is not the only way I’ve seen myself change as a reader because of college. I also have read so much less because of college! There were so many days while I was in college that I literally couldn’t pick up a book because my brain was too tired from all it had learned. Just to give you some numbers to put things in perspective, in January through May of 2022, a full 5 months, I read 23 books. In June and what has passed of July, close to 7 weeks, I have read 16 books. Which means that in less than 2 months, I read about 70% as many books as I managed to finish in 5 months! I obviously can’t anticipate how a new job will affect my reading, but since I won’t have homework, assignments, or tests to worry about, I hope that this trend of having the time and brain power to read more, only continues in the future!

Those are the two biggest changes I’ve noticed in my reading recently. I’m sure there’s more than just genre changes and reading quantity that has changed over the years, but I just haven’t taken note. I think it might be interesting to also look at how these changes affected my blogging, but that would have to be its own separate post! For now I’m curious as to how other people have found their reading habits to have changed as well as if any of you have noticed changes in MY reading that I didn’t mention!

Do you still read YA? Which of your reading habits have changed in the past few years? Have you noticed any changes in MY reading?

28 thoughts on “How Has My Reading Changed?

  1. I’ve had the same experience with YA too. I’m in my 30’s and feel like I’ve finally hit a point to where I can’t really connect anymore. I’m starting to be more selective on what YA books I buy nowadays. And I just recently purged a lot from my collection.

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    1. Yeah. There are still amazing YA books out there that I’m so glad teens can enjoy, as well as any adults that are interested, but for me the stories just aren’t quite connecting for me anymore. While I still own my favorite YA books, I’m not sure I’d reread most of them at this point, and I really can’t see myself reading more than 5 a year at most in the future!

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  2. You pretty much nailed why I have been reading drastically less YA books. I know some people like the heavier and darker stories, but I like the light and fluffy ones. Because of this, I went from reading 3 or so YA books per week, to maybe one per month. There are certain authors I will always read, but I don’t find myself drawn to the stories coming out which is fine. I have been leaning hard into (women’s) fiction in it’s place, and I have always read a lot of romance.

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    1. At this point the only kind of stories I try to pick up are light and fluffy ones. I left fantasy and dystopia because it became to dark for me to handle, and I guess now I’m doing the same to YA. Most YA graphic novels are still fine though, but I haven’t touched prose YA books at all this year. I have plans to read one or two in the future that interest me, but I’m being super selective.

      I don’t think I’ve fully replaced YA books with any new genre though. I think maybe the quantity of romance that I’m reading has increased, although I was already reading quite a bit before I stopped reading YA!

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  3. Funny that when I first started blogging, I thought I’d read exclusively YA books. Then I slowly started reading adult books and now I’m reading more and more of them. Reading habits change so much over time, and I hadn’t even noticed.
    Great post!!

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    1. Honestly, these two months post-graduation have been really busy, and yet it’s amazing how much more brain power I have just because I no longer have tests and homework and classes anymore! I’m hoping that my reading will only flourish in the months to come!

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lol I am currently writing a post about the exact same thing! I have definitely found myself picking up less and less YA recently. Not because I don’t think it’s good, I just am not as drawn to it as I used to be. Great post!

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    1. I find it so funny when that happens! I’ve definitely come across posts in the pasts where I was thinking about writing something similar, but someone got there first!

      But that’s exactly it! I still think YA has a lot of value, but I just don’t see myself enjoying it anymore, which is why I’m not reading as much of it in recent months!

      Thank you!

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  5. What a fantastic discussion, I personally feel the same where ever since college (and getting more into blogging) I haven’t read as much as before. I’m still reading YA, however I’m finding myself being more critical of it (not because the books are bad) but because I’ve been reading it for a while and bc I’m older I’m naturally being more in-depth with how I’m reading. Honestly, I still believe I’ll be reading YA for a while though, there’s still so many books that’ve caught my attention 💕

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    1. Thank you!

      Yeah, it’s so interesting to see what factors end up impacting your reading as life gets busier! I’m hoping that now that I’ve graduated I can read more, but we’ll see how my job impacts my reading in a few weeks!

      I definitely hear that. Being older and having read similar stories beforehand definitely influences how you assess the stories you read now, which isn’t a bad thing, merely a fact of life!

      I hope you continue appreciating and reaching for YA then! There are so many great stories out there, and I’m so glad that people are enjoying them!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great discussion! I had the same experience with YA a few years ago. I think it’s natural in some ways to grow out of it because over time it becomes less relatable. I also feel like YA leans mainly towards the genres of contemporary and sci-fi/fantasy, and I’m not a huge fan of them, so for me it was also a factor in reading more adult novels.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I’ve definitely seen the shift away from YA for several years now. It’s definitely normal to grow out of it over time, but it’s been interesting to see SO many people move away from it in such a short time span.

      That’s also a really good point. Although it’s interesting, because in the past year I’ve started hearing about YA horror and thriller books, which I don’t remember seeing on shelves even a few years back. But I definitely hear how not enjoying the YA genres that were popular could have you reach for more adult books with the many genres that those books contain!

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  7. I feel you on pretty much all of this, Malka! I do still read YA every now and then, but it has definitely been overtaken by adult books in terms of the age range I read most in. And I’ve also found that fewer and fewer YA books end up making it into my yearly favorites… I guess it does make sense though – now that I’m older, I just don’t see myself reflected in teen protagonists as much anymore, and – while I would’ve found this unimaginable about five years ago – I often feel like YA plots are too fast-paced and non-complex for me, particularly where fantasy is concerned. Because at least that hasn’t changed: fantasy is still my favorite genre by far! 🥰

    I feel you on the brainless reading during college, though! Smutty romance novels where my lifesavers during exam season, and now that I’ve started working, I’m definitely seeing the appeal again, too 🤣 And the amount I’m reading is so much lower than before university, too! Like you, I partially attribute that to being busy and tired out, but I also think it’s due to me starting my blog while I was at university. Writing all these posts takes time, which gets deducted from the time I have for reading. And now that I review books, there’s also this nagging voice in my head that says “You know, if you read another book this month, you’re going to have to write an even longer wrap-up, so maybe you should watch some trashy show on Netflix instead”… Not that the voice is always successful, but it IS there, and I do think it has, unfortunately, changed my reading to some extent 🤣

    Then again, blogging has also opened my eyes to so many amazing books that were never on my radar, so it has also impacted my reading really positively! I found so many of my recent favorites through other bloggers! 😊

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    1. Yes, exactly! Even when I do read YA books, they just don’t quite feel the same anymore in terms of the impact they make. Which I’m sure is fine and normal, but it still feels a bit weird to have things change that much. But like you, I’m still reading my favorite genre, just in a more adult form now!

      Romances are the absolute best when you want a compelling story, but don’t want to have to dissect complex worlds or writing! Honestly, those books are the best, and it makes no sense why they get so much hate from people who haven’t tried them and seen their miraculous ways!

      That’s so interesting to me! Because I started this blog while in university to get myself to read MORE! I think for me reading time and blogging time don’t overlap much. Meaning, when I’m in a reading mood, it’s unlikely I’d be spending the time blogging even if I weren’t reading and vice versa. But that’s so interesting that reading and blogging take up the same time slots for you!

      And I’m very goal driven, so for me, the fact that my review books come from NetGalley is extremely helpful! Because then my brain is like: “If you read this book and review it, you can raise your ratio! Which means even more anticipate releases will be yours!”. I think the fact that I don’t watch much TV or many movies also impacts things though!

      Oh, for sure! I’m aware of so many new books now, even in genres I don’t read, which has been especially helpful this month as I’ve started branching out into genres that aren’t adult romances! I’ll forever be grateful for all that I’ve gained by being a part of this online bookish community!

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  8. I’ve seen a fair amount of bloggers say the same thing- that they’re reading YA less, for whatever reason. I’ve noticed it myself in my reading. I’m sure the reasons are as varied as the individual bloggers. For me I’ve been gravitating more towards thrillers and mysteries- suspenseful type reads- and I’m not even sure why lol!

    Anyway… yes the change in reading has naturally changed my blogging as well.

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    1. I find it so interesting that so many bloggers have moved away from YA at around the same time even though I’m sure everyone had different reasons!

      And I’m glad you’ve discovered new genres to enjoy! It’s always interesting to try to figure out what made you gravitate towards a specific theme or genre!

      It makes sense that your blogging has changed as a result!

      Like

    1. When I was growing up, I definitely worked my way through the various age groups in my library. So I’ve slowly grown out of kids books, middle grade, and YA, as I’ve gotten older, although from time to time I will read a book or two from age ranges I don’t tend to reach for anymore.

      But you’re right! Growing and changing is part of life, and even though it can feel weird, it’s all very normal!

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  9. love this post! i definitely have also reached for less and less ya recently, even though i’m technically i’m still in the right age range for it lol. different types of stories appeal to me more now, like you said! i’m actually really interested to see how college will affect my reading, especially since i’m an english major. i think i’ll probably read less like i always do during the school year, but since i’ll have to read those more “brainpower-necessary” books for classes anyway i wonder what kind of books i’ll turn to in my free time (if any lol)!

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    1. Thank you!

      Huh! That’s so interesting! But it makes sense that if other stories appeal to you more, you’d read those instead.

      Funnily enough, one of the reasons I decided not to become an English major is because I didn’t want to have to read “brainpower-necessary” books and not have energy to read books for pleasure! But I’m also curious to see which books you turn to once you start your degree! I’m hoping that you not only enjoy what you read for your classes, but you find another genre or two to turn to throughout the school year when you have free time!

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  10. My reading has changed too. I would read adult books, then YA books, classics, then back to YA, and back to adult books again. I have been reading mostly fantasy right now. It’s a martial arts fantasy book series that I originally thought my boyfriend would like. He said he wouldn’t like it so I am reading it and loving it. I also have been reading historical fiction books. I want to get back to reading mystery books.

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  11. I do still read YA, but I also read a lot more adult. I think the biggest way my reading has changed is that I read almost only review books, because I request too many review books. But I also have stopped reading hyped books just because they are hyped books! If it doesn’t appeal to me, I’m passing, I don’t care how popular it is!

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