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Twenty-eight years of being a serious reader: 06/09/15
Today marks the end of my 28th year of keeping track of my reading. I've covered the whys behind my list before (Why I keep a list and Twenty-Five Years of Reading). Instead I'd like to reminisce about how my reading has changed over the years.
In 1987 when I started the list, in a blue Precious Moments diary, given to me as sixth grade graduation present, I was 13 going on 14. At that age, I was feeling oh so very grown up and my grandmother was giving me carte blanche to check out the maximum number of cards on her card. The public library at the time required a driver's license for all cards, so I couldn't get my own. As I spent most of my free time with my grandmother, I used her card.
So while trying to look as grown up as possible in my reading, and in my oh-so-important list, I picked what seemed like dangerous, devious, and deliciously entertaining books for page one. In the first volume of the book diary, one page held eighteen titles. The first book completed and entered into the list: To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer. In fact, many of those first slots are Farmer's books, intermingled with my first run through Agatha Christie's mysteries, and some classics for the summer reading list (Les Miserables, African Queen, and House of the Seven Gables).
So in the years I should have been reading YA, I wasn't. I remember one teacher recommending Judy Blume — the one that's recommended to all girls of a certain age. Except I'd already hit puberty and I was an atheist. The idea of talking to God about something that just wasn't that big of a deal but making it a big deal, basically turned me off YA until I was well into my thirties. (Although I'm still pretty much avoiding Judy Blume; save for Freckle Juice which my son insisted I had to read)
What I'm trying to say, is despite my almost three decades of tracking my reading, I'm still prone the same fickleness and immaturity I was when I started it. I'm reading more tween and YA literature now than I did when I was the target age. I'm reading more books too than I did back then. Of course I had homework and other things to do (chores, family trips, summer jobs). That first year, I read a whopping 72 books. I've also learned that when I'm happy, I read more.
With the birth of my daughter and the transition from web site to book blog, I read a crazy number of books, mostly picture books. She's now reading graphic novels, non fiction animal books, and YA memoirs, so I'm pretty much back to reading what I want and, of course, blogging about the most memorable ones.