My two daughters went through a long spell where they just weren’t really reading, and I cannot even tell you how sad that made me. I mean, these are MY kids; they can’t go around not reading books! I blamed it on teenagerism.
But lately … they’ve been reading again!!
My oldest is funny. She has all these qualifications, like she has to let me know she’s not really a reader. She’s a huge fan of anime and she’s always read a bit of manga, but lately she’s been reading light novels. In case you’re not aware (I wasn’t), light novels are Japanese books aimed at a YA or MG audience. They’re usually relatively short (around 250-300 pages) and they typically have at least a few manga-style pictures. They’re often made into anime (which is what got my daughter into them—she wanted to find out what happens in some of the anime that haven’t caught up with the books). Dani over at Perspective of a Writer actually did a whole post about light novels, if you want to know more about them.
My daughter likes to point out that she only reads light novels—as if it’s a special sort of reading that I might disapprove of. Nope! I’m like, “They’re books, and you’re enjoying them and reading them voraciously, and my heart is so happy!!” Some of these series have like 13 books in them, so she’s actually been reading A LOT. And, it’s the one time she can get me to buy her stuff out of the blue. Want a video game? Buy it yourself. Oh, you want a book? Here, let me buy them ALL for you! LOL!
My younger daughter had complicated reasons for not really reading much anymore. She had a favorite middle grade series (the Warriors Series by Erin Hunter) that was about a bajillion books long and she’d read those books over and over again. But she was sort of outgrowing most middle grade and found herself not really interested in YA books. She was a pretty sensitive kid, and books that had a lot of violence in them (that wasn’t of the cat-variety—like her favorite series) kind of disturbed her. That took fantasy mostly off the table. She also wasn’t interested (or ready for) books with sexual content or even a lot of swearing or difficult themes of abuse or mental health or anything like that. If she even got a whiff of those sorts of themes in the synopsis, she’d look at me like I was handing her a grenade. (When I tried to give her a fantasy or two that I loved she’d say, “Mom, those are murder books.” Yikes! Way to make a mom feel guilty for trying to destroy her daughter’s delicate psyche.) Of course, I didn’t want to disrespect her own choices about what she was ready to read, so I tried hard to give her a few books that were written for the younger YA crowd that I thought she’d enjoy, but my choices were pretty limited. This worked sometimes, but mostly, she just sort of drifted away from reading for a while.
But now my daughter is just finishing up her sophomore year of high school and she’s finally coming around to YA. It started with her reading The Lunar Chronicles—Cinder was a great way for her to dip her toes into YA fantasy, and she loved it. After that, she was asking me for more stuff to read!! Now, during this quarantine, she’s already read three YA books and the first two books of the Harry Potter Series (which I could never get her to read before)! I’m so excited!!
Luckily, my youngest still LOVES books. He has some special needs and isn’t able to read a lot of books at his level, but he listens to books constantly. He is an audiobook fiend! Last year, he listened to almost 70 books!! I just hope it lasts…
But if it doesn’t, I can take solace in the fact that at some point he’ll probably come back to reading, just like my other two have. I like to think that I’ve ingrained books into my kids’ lives and I truly hope they’ll be lifelong readers!
Do you have kids? Are they readers? Have you ever gone through periods where you just stopped reading for a while? I want to know!
This post has been linked up to the 2020 Book Blog Discussion Challenge.
I remember seeing that Light novel post. You know I had to click seeing the word “light” in there. My daughter was always a reader, but didn’t get to read much during college or grad school. She does still do the Goodreads challenge, committing to one book per month, and spearheads the women’s book club at her job. I am always happy to see her doing the things, that used to make her happy, when she was younger.
I actually went through a period after college (and maybe during?) where I didn’t read nearly as much either. I still considered myself a booklover, but I just didn’t have time to read. It wasn’t until after my kids were born that I started really reading again.
Yay! I’m glad they’re reading. I hope my niece likes books when she gets older. Her mom doesn’t read, and my parents don’t read, so I’m her only bookish role model.
I firmly believe one bookish role model is enough! 🙂
Oh that’s great! So nice to hear they’re reading again. I think everyone goes through phases with reading and what they like. I do not like the same stuff now that I did in my 20s and 30s!
I’ve definitely gone through periods where I read less, but I’ll confess I was worried when they both seemed to get pretty uninterested in books. I’m definitely happy to see that turning around!
Thank you for sharing some good news! I have similar moments with my son. He always reads but mostly it’s the same Tintin and Asterix comics over and over again. I try to breathe and remember how I read the Oz books a million times. But then he gets into phases of reading something else (Harry Potter, the Spy School series, His Dark Materials).
Sadly he won’t read lots of books that I loved at his age because they are “too boring.” He wants action! I wonder if he will outgrow this at some point, but for now it’s his main interest.
Yes, there’s hope! I know that many of the classic children’s books that we read as kids feel slow to today’s readers—my kids ended up enjoying some of them, but others just never ended up being for them. I’m just happy they’re reading, though!
It must be an amazing feeling seeing your kids get back into reading. Even if you’re eldest likes to qualify it with a specific thing she’s willing to read, it’s like you say, at least she’s reading. And it sounds like you’re younger daughter had some legit reasons for drifting from reading, there is definitely an awkward transition preiod for kids right now. The change from middle grade to young adult can be big and there isn’t enough to help show if it’s a book intended for an older teen or a younger one, you’ve no way of telling until you read it. I hope they all carry on reading and it’s great that you have the chance to talk about books with them.
Yes, I certainly wouldn’t have handed my younger daughter just any old YA book—I definitely had to read it first to know if it would be something she would find appealing and that wouldn’t scare her away!
the silver lining….it’s fabulous they are reading. you may even learn more about them through the books they read
Yes, I honestly don’t care what they read as long as they’re reading!!
No kids, but my niece and nephew are both readers! I encourage this by trying to find new books to gift them at every opportunity.
I slowed down in my pleasure reading a bit in college, but I chalk that up to the fact that I was majoring in English and reading a lot for classes. I wanted to do other things with my free time instead of more of the same thing I was doing for school. (High school wasn’t as bad since I had a wider variety of classes.) I don’t think I ever really stopped reading, though. I mean, I have jumped genres a lot as I find myself with different bookish needs. But that’s not the same thing.
I definitely slowed down with my own reading when my kids were very little, but I don’t think I ever really stopped reading either. I always considered myself bookish!
I totally feel you. I have three kiddos (one young adult and two teens) and while my oldest is an English major in college, we do have very different tastes in books. It is nice to have a few books and series we can spend time discussing, though. My middle child has refused to read for years. She used to enjoying reading, but it seems the more we encourage her to read, the more stubborn she grows about picking up a book. I have discovered that she’s read a few things in secret, so I’m happy with that. Ha! I just keep waiting for the day she decides to read again. I know it will have to be her idea. 😉 My youngest just likes to reread Harry Potter, but I’m okay with that, as well. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, I think when I tried to get my kids to read it just made them want to less. I’m very glad they’ve come back to it on their own!
This is so encouraging! I’m trying to find books that my kids love!
Yes, there’s hope! Here’s hoping your kids find their own path to more reading!!
Has your younger daughter read The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton? They are middle grade books so I’m not sure how she’ll respond to them, but I’m in my 20’s and am still obsessed with them. They’re light, fluffy adventure books, with mysteries but not gorey mysteries at all. I am pretty sensitive to harsh subject matter myself. It’s also a pretty long series so should last her a long time!
I also absolutely loved the To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before series. It is YA, but it’s very light and in my mind not as mature as YA can get sometimes.
I’ve never heard of The Famous Five Series—I’ll definitely have to check that out. I’ve been thinking she might like To All the Boys—we could watch the Netflix movies AND read the books. 🙂
Honestly, I’ve pretty much already read. I know that’s not true for a lot of people though – they didn’t read until later, or they have periods where they don’t. Anyway, I’m so glad your daughters are finally making their way back to reading. I’d never heard of light novels, but they sound awesome. And ah, the Lunar Chronicles books. Those are great!! I hope your younger daughter can keep finding books that she enjoys!!
The light novels do look really great, actually. I might read some during this quarantine. 🙂
That’s awesome. I was never a big reader until my adult years so I think things are always evolving and you go through phases.
I’m really enjoying reading with my nieces now as they are just starting to come around to the same YA I read.
Karen @ For What It’s Worth
Interesting that you didn’t really start reading until you were older. I guess everyone’s reading journey is different!
This is awesome! I am so glad that your kids are getting back into reading! And to answer your question, YES, I have gone through several times in life where I have not read. In high school and college, most of the time, I didn’t read. If I had time during the (literally two or three weeks) swimming off-season, I would pick something up, but that was about it. I was just too exhausted to do ANYTHING else, you know? But then when I was in my mid-twenties, I got back into it. My kids are both very into books, but they’re mostly at the ages where I still read TO them. Not that they can’t read, but we just always read together and I am fine with that for as long as they let me!
I love that you still read with your kids. That’s wonderful!!!
It’s wonderful that your children are getting back into reading! I’ve gone through periods when I don’t read; they tend to happen during busy seasons with classwork, but more often when I’m feeling depressed. Like your oldest, I love manga, and I sometimes read web novels (which sometimes get adapted into light novels). When I don’t feel like reading novels, I can count on reading manga or web novels 🙂
It’s nice that you have those outlets for storytelling when you can’t bring yourself to read!
I’m so happy they have all been reading and really enjoying books again! I think manga and light novels definitely count as reading. I also really that they all have the format and kind of books which best suit them. Ah, the Lunar Chronicles <3
Yeah, I don’t see why she would think that light novels don’t count—they’re books!
I honestly can’t think of a time where I wasn’t a reader! There have been slumps, of course, but the desire to read was always there, and I’d usually use my slumps to reread some of my favorite books! And I can definitely relate to your younger daughter. I spent a really long time in the middle grade and tween sections until I was ready to venture into young adult!
My mother always says that she loves how me and my oldest brother are readers. She says we self-entertain! My other brother never read much, and he was a lot more likely to complain that he was bored on any given day!
Yes, it’s been so nice that my daughter’s been reading because she gets bored easily otherwise!!