BUT, high school is now about half a lifetime ago, depending how you count. And while I do still love me some realistic YA, books about animals, TV tie-ins, books older than me, and little to no cursing or sexual content in my fiction, when I started thinking it over, I realized that my annual reading habits actually have undergone some changes since then, AND it's even pretty cool to see. Probably because my brain can parse it as "data" instead of "change."
Sidebar: lemme drop some links to my reading lists from way back when, for the curious and Future Me's easy access, since I haven't added most of these titles to my Goodreads account.
Now without further ado --
Me as a Teen versus Full Adulthood
1. I used to read a fair amount of fantasy -- used to be up for just about anything with princesses, magic (shoutout to Tamora Pierce), fairies, unicorns obviously (I'm still pretty okay w/ unicorns, I just always forget to look for them), and/or xenofiction. I've added fewer than 20 books to my "fantasy" shelf on Goodreads in the last 10 years.
2. I used to read science fiction without hesitation, especially if it was set on other planets. Now it just...doesn't interest me, outside of apocalypse/post-apocalyptic scenarios.
3. I was still reading the occasional series book (Animorphs, Thoroughbred, Saddle Club, Dear America/Royal Diaries). Haven't read any since.
4. I don't read as many vintage juvenile horse & dog books per year as I used to. Back then I didn't own more than a few, so I had to bolt down as many as I could from the school library while they were still accessible to me. Now I'm like, "I own 200 and they will be there whenever I want, so obviously that's not a priority."
5. For some reason I decided that rereads emphatically Did Not Count!!! in my annual reading challenge unless I had not recorded them on a list before, so I basically never reread anything. I do sometimes miss knowing exactly how many unique books I've read this century by simply adding the totals, but I like that I don't feel pressured to ignore beloved favorites until I've hit 100 unique books in a year, which takes at least 8 months, if not the whole year.
6. I am a proper grown-up who reads (some) Grown Up Fiction now! As a teenager, I assumed basically any 20th century book found above the YA age range to be dreadfully boring, and thought it was Absolutely Wild that my weirdo peers were so eager to move on to them. That said...
7. Sometimes I also used to voluntarily read classics that I thought sounded neat and was mad my teachers weren't assigning, like Wuthering Heights and The House of Mirth, during the big push for multicultural lit instead. I was proud of my tenacity and of following in the footsteps of my mom's educational era. Nowadays I just don't have the patience -- I want too many new stories in my head.
8. I was reading lots more 80s and 90s teen books then, because the public library had plenty of 'em in stock. I still go to the same libraries, and they absolutely do not have them anymore (on the upside, I've bought back a whole bunch of them at library sales. I just, you know, don't read them. Now that there are no deadlines.)
9. I also used to read a lot more teen novels about alcohol abuse and drug addiction/dealing. I'm pretty sure it was because I liked feeling superior to the characters. Now their bad choices mostly bore me, and I'd rather read about people whose lives I want to have or try on.
10. In high school, I could never have imagined reading a romance novel in my life, because Harlequins were the only kind I knew. Still don't care for most cheesy mass market ones and/or the ones that are basically porn with plot embellishment. But standalone novels that just want to tell a genuine love story with a happily-ever-after ending? That's shipping, and we likes it.
And there you have it.
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