Something terrible happened after high school: I stopped reading.
Up until that point, I read anything fictional and historical. Fantasy and British history were my go-to subjects, and I still yearn for these the same way I sometimes yearn for chocolate cake.
During college and for a little while after, I tried to feed my brain with other things. School required work, right? The internet began filling my life more than other things. Sure, once in a while I’d go on a library or booksale binge. I read a few awesome novels here or there. In my attempt to be some sort of English student, I read poems from the greats. I tried to discipline myself to read more and experienced staggered progress. Forcing yourself to read is like being force-fed your enjoyment by the Trunchbull.
A funny thing is happening at the beginning of this Half-Year of Young Adult challenge: I’m enjoying reading again. My past challenges were enjoyable, sure, but they weren’t done for the guilty pleasure of it. Back in elementary school, my guilty pleasures were Goosebumps, Babysitter’s club, Roald Dahl, and any horror. In middle school, I believe it was fantasy, Cats fanfiction (shut up), and for some reason Holocaust fiction and diaries. In high school, it was all the Jane Yolen, most manga, and perhaps historical fiction. Now that I’m somewhat of a grown-up, I suppose this time Young Adult is my cake.
This challenge is having a good start. I can only imagine how more enjoyable it will be when I start reading high school manga. My opinion may change, though, as soon as I head into more Teen novels.
All I hope is that I can soon be full of yummy books, the good and the bad.
Have you read any of these?
Did you have daily planners in elementary school? What did you do with them at the end of each school year?
Growing up, I heard of a lot of kids throwing out their old school notebooks, but the writer in me could never bear to throw out good paper. The empty pages of my log books surely had potential, but with what? Since I’ve been making lists ever since I could write a few letters, and since I often found it hard to recall the books I touched because I read so often, I formed a log out of each subject square.
Below is a messy example from high school. (Click to enlarge.) Each box made for subject assignments was divided into two sections: “Started” and “Finished.” Any books I began or finished reading in that week, I would record. If I began a book one week and didn’t finish it until the next, I would list the beginnings and endings in their respective squares. In high school and college, I would often start good books and not finish them, or read several novels at a time. I also often forgot to keep track, leaving months of gaps. Some weeks, I finished no books. Looking a back, each page gives me a sense of what went on with my books.
To me, this is much better than book sharing websites because I can get a week-to-week summary of the word-induced comas I was experiencing. It also makes it easier for me to remember the covers of each title, especially for fiction; for some reason, seeing a title written in this way reminds me of the basic colors or images on the cover.
I only wish I could show you the lost, original log book from elementary school. It had many more ink colors because I grabbed whichever pen was around to make my notes. The results were very pretty. I’ve been keeping up with the week-to-week recording for my children’s lit challenge and just started a new page. Since I intend to read more in the next several months, I look forward to filling it with my literary life.
How do you keep track of your reading adventures?