Thursday, May 12, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Age Appropriate

Question: Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?

The answer to that is “Yes” – with a qualification. When I was a child, I read everything on my parent’s bookshelves. The first time I read Gone With The Wind I was 9 years old – needless to say, a lot of it was way over my head. I remember reading The Crystal Cave not too long after that. I read it again and again. (It may be the reason I became a Medievalist in college. Practicality certainly couldn’t have had anything to do with it!)

As an adult, I have enjoyed reading with my two children (now ages 16 and 10) for closing in on two decades. And I really mean “enjoyed.” Some books are such favorites that the books are no longer necessary. After reading it so many times, everyone in our family can recite There Once Was a Puffin by heart, which has come in handy on more than one occasion when we forgot to pack a book for an overnight trip. From the earliest picture books, through the Madeline and Eloise phases, to chapter books like A Series of Unfortunate Events, I really have looked forward to bedtime most nights!

So here’s the qualification. What I I haven’t enjoyed as much are the YA novels my older daughter reads – and wants me to read too. I am just too impatient with them. The firstTwilight novel made me want to put Bella out of her misery – and mine. Pretties made me cringe. John Green’s novels are better, but he doesn’t write enough of them. I want to encourage her reading outside of her difficult AP English work, and I place a premium on being able to discuss books with my children, so I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when she started grabbing titles from my Kindle library – and finding she actually liked some of them. So far, we’ve discussed Dreaming in Hindi, Radio Shangri-La, and she even finished Bossypants before I did. She still doesn’t dig “old junk” (a.k.a. Classics) much, and won’t touch a mystery to save her life. But at least we’re finding a reading space we can share!

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. To participate, just copy the week’s question, answer on your blog, and link the answer in the comments for that week. Thanks to Deb for hosting!


  1. An interesting point to this is how horror has now gone down the ages to teenage vampires, etc.

  2. Teenage vampire stories will never appeal to me! I went to see the first Twilight movie with my grandson, and I seriously cannot stand Bella or Edward.

    It's odd that I don't even enjoy watching those actors in other movies, because they've become "typecast" in my mind.

    But I wouldn't necessarily rule out YA books of a different kind.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. How wonderful a tradition of reading together you've created with your children. My daughter prefers to read that which she can relate to, which right now is YA, but lately she has picked up several of my books, including Secret Daughter, and is finding enjoyment there as well.

    My Bookshelf

  4. Yes, I like to mix it up sometimes, it makes for interesting reading.

  5. @AnthonyNorth -- I hadn't really thought about it, but you're right, I don't remember much horror aimed at kids when I was younger.

    @Laurel-Rain Snow -- I agree, I have enjoyed some YA, but I don't pick it up on my own. So I'm just going by my daughter's choices.

    @Shirley -- It is so nice to enjoy the same book, isn't it? Especially with a teenager in the house, it's nice to have something neutral to talk about :-)

    @Tribute Books Mama -- Definitely, mixing it up is best. I even enjoyed the only graphic novel I ever picked up!

  6. I still haven't read the Twilight books, although my 20-something daughter enjoyed them.

    My reading has been all across the board, and prety much continues to be. Hope you'll stop by and say hello!

    Cindy's Book Club


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