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!