Do You Ever Worry About Your Reading Future?

Reading FutureSometimes, when I’m thinking about the future (awful practice, that. I don’t recommend it), I wonder about what I’ll be reading in the next few years. Just mindless speculation, usually along the lines of “I wonder what fantastic series I’ll start?” or “How in the world am I going to survive the end of [insert favorite series here]??” Innocent fun!

And then it gets scary.

I start thinking, “Will I still love YA?” That’s what scares me the most. What if, when I’m twenty something, I’ll start to hate YA fiction?? To be honest, that idea petrifies me. I’ve read so many incredible books, and met so many incredible people, all through YA novels.

When I’ve read adult fiction (and don’t take this as a general statement because I haven’t read a wide variety of adult fiction in any way), the only word that comes to mind is jaded. It just seems so tired of life, so weary and plodding along. Even though the same subject matter may be addressed in either Adult Fiction or Young Adult fiction, there’s something different in YA. A spark, a sense of hope and promise. All those dystopian books with teens who unrealistically take down governments? Those are important. They show readers that despite dismal conditions and situations, you always have the capacity to fight, because you are only defeated when you surrender.

So honestly I am terrified that I’ll stop liking YA lit, because does that mean that I’ve surrendered to life? Given up that burning fire that makes you attack the world like nothing will take you down?

And this is when I stop myself, because I’m thinking way too much and I just need to calm down. If I like YA, then I will continue to like YA: it’s a choice, right? So that’s what I’m going to do! Because there is no way in my lifetime that I’m giving up on Throne of Glass or The Grisha or Harry Potter.

 

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37 thoughts on “Do You Ever Worry About Your Reading Future?

  1. For some reason, when I was approaching ~18, I started thinking like this. I mean, by 18, you’re generally older than most YA protagonists (most are like 16), and I started wondering if I would start to feel as if I didn’t connect with the characters.
    And here I am, turning 21 in two months (oh dear god *starts hyperventilating*), and I recently finished Legend (where the MCs are 15), and I adored it. I don’t think it matters how old the author says a character is, I think you can project your own age onto them (which is what I do, because really 15 is so young!).
    And then like you said, it’s a choice. I didn’t have to be worried that the MCs in YA books would be younger than me – once upon a time they were all OLDER than me. We can read what we want. And it’s the most important thing to read what we LOVE. And we love YA. So of course we should keep reading it.
    And I know what you mean about adult books. I haven’t read a lot, but it’s kind of like ohhhh. Like, most of the MCs are sick of their lives, and that’s kind of depressing! I like the kickass-ness of YA. the hope it give us, like you said. It’s amazing. I hope we always love YA, Kayla! ❤

    • YOU ARE NOT OLD! All 21 means is that you get to drink now 😛

      Oh wow, I had forgotten that June and Day were 15. That makes me feel so much better!

      You know how to lift my mood wifey ❤

  2. I don’t generally worry about that (because I read pretty widely so I’m bound to still find something I like in YA!) but man have I been worried about the NUMBER of books I have to read lately. Totally overwhelming with so many new ones always coming!

  3. I definitely wouldn’t worry about it! I mean, if you think about it, you’re always going to read whatever you enjoy most, right? And clearly that love of e.g. Harry Potter isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so no worries 😀

    Btw, you should read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I feel like it might change the way you feel about adult reads 😛

  4. I understand this feeling, especially as someone who wants to write YA. What if one day I suddenly think it’s dumb and want to give it up? But there are people who write children’s books for a long time, so logically, I know that getting older doesn’t mean my love for a genre will change. And who knows, maybe I will want to shift into another genre, as I have seen other interest of mine shift a bit, but I think I will always be open to and appreciative of YA.

  5. Don’t worry Kayla, you’ll like YA as long as you like YA, it’s as simple as that. You don’t just wake up one day and say “Uuuuh, YA, I’m so over that.” What might happen is that you read other genres and like them and that limits your YA time. I’m 22 and read both YA and Adult books and I can confidently say that I still love YA. Now, I will say that my tolerance with many of the tropes found in YA has lessened, but I don’t think that’s because I read adult books, I think it’s because I’ve read OUTSTANDING YA books, and now have higher expectations for that genre.

    We’re here for you if you need us Kayla, but really, don’t stress! 🙂

  6. Very thought-provoking discussion, Kayla! I actually just sat for a few minutes thinking about what I want my reading future to look like. I imagine I’d end up reading poetry and classics when I’m super old but I think for now it’d be hard to give up YA. We’re the same age at the moment so I get how you feel since we’re bordering that young adult to adult line, yeah? Personally, I think it’s okay if my reading tastes change because that’s natural but that doesn’t mean I’ll forget how epic YA was and all those YA books I love. 🙂

    • As long as I can remember the YA books fondly, and not with regret and nostalgia, then I think I’d be okay 🙂

      This is why I wish NA wasn’t so sex-focused – I love the ages of the protagonists, but I don’t want to read erotica!

  7. This is such a wonderful post, and I see your point. I’m just not sure how I feel about it. Recently, I’ve been feeling changes with what I like reading. Is it a good or a bad thing? I honestly don’t know. Is it me giving up? I sure hope not. Or maybe I’m just getting more picky because there are so many books nowadays and it’s hard to keep up. Maybe I will give up YA or maybe not, but I think I’ll enjoy the present for now 😛

  8. I honestly fear this, too. Some of my favourite books ever are YA… what happens when I get to old for them? D:

    But you are so right about Young adult books having a certain spark about them. I’ve only read a couple of Adult books, and so far all the character’s have been worn down by life and it focuses on them breaking out of that normality and hardship.

    There’s just something special about young guns doing something more.

    Just gotta let the future take it’s course, though! Who knows, maybe when we are older we can relate to adult books more, and therefore like them more? Possibly?

    Great discussion, Kayla!

    • So glad you have the same fears! I hope I don’t end up relating so well to adult books; that kind of sounds like a sad way to live. Or maybe I’m not reading the right adult books?

  9. I think of the future a lot too, but mostly because of college and stuff. And that’s enough to take up all the space of my worries, because I have no idea how to apply for colleges here, and I’m even thinking of applying abroad. You don’t know how much of a problem that is right now, but I find that it usually just takes a backseat in my mind. I don’t stress over it, and I’m taking it one day at a time.

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  11. I have these thoughts sometimes, too. Even though I’ve always liked and enjoyed a lot of adult fiction, right now the majority of what I read is YA and I’m having so much fun with that! I worry that one day I’ll be too old to enjoy it anymore and reading YA won’t be as pleasurable for me anymore. Even now, at only 22, I sometimes read certain YA books and think “Wow, I wish I could’ve read this 5 years ago instead of now, because I think I would’ve liked it more.” But I think that there will always be certain YA novels that transcend age. Lots of stuff — like the Siege and Storm trilogy, which you mentioned — could easily be read and liked at any age (at least, I hope so!).

    So I just try and think to myself that as long as what I’m reading is making me happy, then that’s a good thing. I think that I just have to start worrying when reading doesn’t make me happy anymore no matter what I’m reading…and that would be a scary, scary day indeed.

    • That’s a great point Miranda – if I had read Perks of Being a Wallflower now instead of when I was sixteen, I really don’t think it would have changed me as much. I’d still enjoy it, but it wouldn’t be that life-changing book.

      That is the best way to think of it: read what makes me happy! Thanks Miranda ❤

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  14. I’m a genre hopper, so I fully expect that one day I’ll no longer want to read YA. I’ll be sad about it, the way I’m sometimes sad I’m no longer reading much historical romance or mystery/suspense, but I’m sure I’ll love whatever I pick up next just as much. I’m in my 30s, so for me it’s not related to age. I read more YA now than I did 15 years ago…when you were 3.

  15. I had similar sentiments when I was 19/20. Like, I started reading YA books when I was 12, what more was I expecting out of YA? Yet even now at 23, I hardly ever find myself venturing among the adult shelves in my library. Like you said, they somehow seem to be jaded. But there are books out there on hope as well. Just that somehow adult books have yet to capture my attention the way YA books have.

    Although nowadays, when I see that protagonists are below 16, I do have second thoughts about picking up those books. In that sense, I’m not so indiscriminate anymore. I reach for books in the upper YA spectrum. At the same time I’ve been more on the look-out for books with protagonists who are 18 to 25 years old (but not NA romance kitsch). Still, I don’t think I’m ready to give up YA any time soon. I don’t think I will for a long time actually but I do hope I’ll be ready for adult books in a few years. Just not the depressing ones 😉

    • I’ve noticed that as well about myself; I prefer protagonists aged anywhere from 16-18 or so.

      I wish there were more NA books without the overload of sex and romance! Something more like Fangirl from Rainbow Rowell!

  16. KAYLA DONT WORRY. IM 23 AND LOOK AT ME. STILL READING YA. And honestly there are a lot of adult books that have hope and life. I can recommend you a few and really as long as you have me as a friend, I won’t let you stop liking YA. We’re in this together until the end. We are gonna be reading books along with our granddaughters/sons or Grandnieces/nephews, and fangirling with them. We will take them to book signings and help them make their first book blog. See the future in a positive way. 😀

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