The Novel Knight Book Reviews blog is doing a wonderful series called Dear Teen Me and it inspired me to think about my own teenage years. I wasn’t blogging then but I was reading like crazy and just starting to figure out what I liked for genres and themes. So here’s some things I wish I had known when I was a young reader.
You don’t have to enjoy the classics
My English teachers always made a big deal out of those classic books everyone is required to read, those books by Austen, Bronte, and Hemingway that have “stood the test of time”. As a teenager, I felt like I was supposed to like those books. I always loved my English classes but once I reached high school and the dreaded classics were assigned I found myself struggling to enjoy a subject that had always been my solace. Then I’d see lists of books every person should read and I’d find those classics again. It only took a few years of attempting to read the classics before I figured things out, but I wish I had gotten the picture sooner.
Be proud you’re a romance reader
Not everyone understands the romance genre or how amazing it’s books, authors, and readers can be. Many might look down on the genre as fluffy, formulaic, or not literary enough. I know every romance reader has heard it before: “those aren’t real books”, “isn’t that just porn?”, “doesn’t that give you unrealistic expectations?” and every single one of those should just be ignored. Once I started reading romance it took a while for me to not be embarrassed by it. To not feel like I had to keep it a secret or try to hide what I was reading because I didn’t want to be judged. Now I read what I want and I proudly shout it anytime I’m asked what I like to read.
Ebooks are your friend, also get a Kindle
When ebooks were first making the rounds I was completely against them. I was one of those readers that declared my love of paper and how much I enjoyed holding a physical book in my hands. But then I saw the first generation Nook and it was like a light switch in my head and I was a complete convert to the digital era. I enjoyed my time with the Nook but after a few years I found better features and cheaper prices on Amazon. Looking back I wish I had gotten a Kindle in the beginning instead of switching several years through.
Start that blog
I have a blog now but this is a recent development in my life. However, I’ve thought about doing a blog for over 10 years and I could never work up the nerve to give it a shot. Every time the idea would pop into my head I would research options and look at other blogs; many years back I even signed up for a free blogger account and played around with layouts and themes, but nothing ever came of it. I so wish I would have started my blog the first time I had the idea. I would love to know what thoughts about reading and life I would have posted about back then compared to now.
What reading advice would you give your younger self?