Earlier this year, somewhere around March after my first year end semester exams, I read some 2015 debuts and ARCs. Last year, I read only 18 books. I didn’t even hit 20, what even was that year and I’m sure the year before that would’ve been in the single digits. My reading has decreased drastically since I left school and entered college and this year, I managed to figure out why.
It’s because I walked into a college where a majority of the students devour Austen and Marquez for their daily breakfast. Everyone around me reads the classics from Bronte to Dickens and then there are those that have the nonfiction books along with their morning newspaper.
Where’s a girl like me who likes her books young adult and very much contemporary fit in? For about two, three years I tried. I tried reading the classics, had my friends gift me Wuthering Heights (untouched as ever) and Lord of the Flies (read for college reading, liked it immensely) for my birthdays and watched as the number of fiction books I read that year drop and slowly fade out of sight.
But then I saw that one of my old school mates ran a book blog, primarily young adult fiction book reviews and I was in price to reevaluate my choice in books. At the start of the year I decided I would read already fifty books, that goodreads challege really inspired me to keep going. My friend, Salonie joined in too as did Christina. Now, Salonie and I have this friendly (pfft) competition of who can read more books, which she’s currently winning. We’re both reading 65 books now and I’m so bloody happy to say that I’ve read over 50 books this year and more than 16,000 pages. Now, that’s not much compared to the other readers but for me that’s huge. Seeing as I barely hit 18 last year and that counting books I had to read for my literature course.
I have finally begun accepting my live for young adult and new adult books, contemporary, fantasy, science fiction and best of all, dystopia. I rarely shy away anymore when someone picks up the book I’m reading and asks me, “Why on earth are you reading about teenage vampires?” (Vampire Academy books). I like it. And it’s none of their business which books I choose to read and love. I’m not judging you for reading books that are outdated and fairly old and boring, then you don’t need to judge my choices, thanks.
Reading has always been a source of happiness for me. Escaping into a book, feeling one with the characters and loving the plots and twists and turns has always been home for me. But now I’ve come to realize, life is too bloody short and the list of books I want to read is too bloody long for me to keep reading books I’m not enjoying or interested in.
I’ve started to DNF (Did Not Finish) books, because it is alright not to like a book and it is especially alright to not like a book millions love and rave about. Life is all about making choices that make YOU happy, not others. And there are too many brilliant books in the world for you to continue reading that dull, boring old book. It’s alright, leave it be and maybe the next one will blow you off your feet.
It’s been a tricky time, accepting who I am and what I love reading. And I’m slowly beginning to see why so many people stop doing the things they love because of what others say about it. Well, here my advice, screw them. If you want to read all about how intricate politics is, go for it my friend, if you want to read Pride and Prejudice for the hundredth time, I don’t see why someone else saying something about it should stop you. Screw those elitist readers who believe that there is one particular type of book that you just read at your age /status for your gender. Pah, you want to read erotica, go read it, if you like some Chicklit make sure to bash the head of the person who calls you girly like it’s an a insult with a massive Sophie Kinsella.
As for me, you’ll find me reading the books of my choice, I’m not too bothered about what my classmates in Literature class think about me reading a contemporary romance novel, I’m pretty much done with them elitist readers.
So, read what makes you happy.