There has been a fair amount of animosity in the blogosphere of late. And, as these things tend to do, well for those not involved in the fray, it has led me to a great deal of introspection about my space in the blogosphere. It has led me to asking myself some questions, that I would like to share with you, as well as the answers that I have come up with.
Should you not wish to read
this entire post, what I am trying to say is that we should not judge
oneanother based on what we read, there is no right or wrong way to
read. There is no right or wrong genre, you should not patronise me for
enjoying YA. There is also no wrong or right way to blog, if we all did
everything the same, there would be no need for the blogosphere, we
could all just run one big blog, but variety is the spice of life and it
is our differences that make us interesting. I write what I want, and I
write honestly how I feel about a book, not because I am looking for
approval, but because I am sharing my views. I am not writing to
influence you, I just want to express how a book has impacted or
disappointed me. I am not trying to guide you, I am just here to express
myself, and is that not what the majority of us want to do anyway? It
is wrong to tell someone that they should not gain pleasure from a
certain genre of book, books are the only escape that many have, and who
are we to judge?
That in a nutshell, is what I am trying to say here, I hope you do read on so that you can understand me a bit better.
When and why did I start this blog?
I started this blog at the latter end of 2009. I had another blog, but I
felt that I needed one to dedicate solely to books. The idea came to me
on one of my many Saturday morning coffee dates with my good friend
Caeser. I only started taking this blog seriously in the second term of
2010. I started setting goals for myself, and working on this blog to
help me overcome my depression.
I have always been an avid reader, and I saw this as an opportunity to
record my thoughts and opinions on books, as well as to have something
to show for 2010 the year I took off to repair my mental state. Blogging
and reading helped to save me, as it gave me something I could control
to focus on.
Which books do I read and why?
Much of my life, I have been reading books that are one step ahead of my
age group's prescribed reading. I learnt to read when I was 5 years
old, and when I was 7 I read Charlotte's Web by myself. I had devoured
all of Roald Dahl's books in the local library by the time I was 9. My
mom had me reading biographies about Galileo, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison
and others at the same time.
I then moved onto the older children's side of the library and read what
I could. When I was 14 I ventured into the Lord of the Rings, and by
the time I was 15 I was reading Chocolat. My friends and I were the
intellectual group at high school and we debated Freud and Aristotle. We
thought we were so amazing. We would buy teenage magazines, and loved
the UK ones we could get in Port Elizabeth.
The only kind of YA I read was the Flambards Trilogy and the 2 Dawson's
Creek books that the local library happened to have. I never thought too
much of YA growing up, but I don't think it really existed then.
I suppose the point I am trying to make, is that one of the genres I
enjoy now, YA, is so great for me, because when I was a young adult, I
was just so serious, I wanted to be older than I was, and well now I
miss how easy life used to be so that is why I read YA. YA offers an
escape, it is an easy read, and it is not taxing, it is the kind of read
you want to escape into after a long day. But what I really think the
reason is for my great enjoyment of YA is, is that I am not ready to be a
grown up, but I have to be. I am 24, and I have many responsibilities.
In reading YA, I get to escape my responsibilities, and go back to a
simpler time when all you had to really worry about was impressing your
friends. Is it so wrong to want to do that?
I also like the worlds of Sookie Stackhouse, Maggie O'Neal, MJ Holliday
and Trish from the Book Town mystery series. I enjoy mysteries, they are
easy to get into, and they just give you something to relax thinking
about. I also enjoy the vampire books of late, but that does not make me
a shallow reader. Just because it is not difficult does not mean it
should be dismissed, reading is one of the best pleasures that life has
to offer, why should you not be able to read what you want to without
being judged? Why should others try to censor us?
I also enjoy the classics, Revolutionary Road, Gone with the Wind, The
Great Gatsby, The Color Purple these are among my favourites.
I adore Harry Potter and have enjoyed some of the Chronicles of Narnia
as well as a bit of Lemony Snickets. No reader is an island - you cannot close yourself off to certain genres.
But my absolute favourite has to be biographies, especially the
autobiography and memoir sub genres. I love experiencing the lives of
others vicariously, whether it is Frank McCourt, Sharon Osbourne or
Seabiscuit. Books are the best form of travel, and you don't need a
I am an amalgam when it comes to reading, I read what I feel like
reading when I feel like reading it. No one is going to make me feel
like a second rate citizen in the world of reading because I do not fit
the mould that they have cast. My mind is my own, and I am going to feed
it with what I want, because reading is one of the few things in which
you can truly be free.
So to the judgmental lemmings out there, thank you for making me examine
and put into words my thoughts about reading and the genres which I
enjoy. And I will thank you kindly not to judge, but to rather look at
yourself and ask whether you feel inhibited in the reading choices that
you make that you have to criticise those who veer off of your chosen
In life, as in the blogosphere, I do not fit into a box. I do and
believe what feels right to me. So what if I read 20 books targeted at
16 year olds, it makes me happy, and that is the goal of life, isn't it?