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Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?

Kids always want to act like grown up. They want to be treated like one at least. I couldn’t wait until I can shave like my father did, even though my Asian genes don’t dictate much facial hair growth. I pined for reading adult books as a kid. The starting point was newspaper, which I perused for at least an hour after homework. I wasn’t as taken with the current affairs as the peripheral sections, containing arts, entertainment, and book reviews. By the time I was a teenager, thanks to a rigorous reading curriculum in school, I was tackling adult fiction, classics, and contemporary literature (although Toni Morrison was still a tad rough for me). Consider how quickly I read “above me” age-wise, now I hardly read “below me.” On a rare occasion I would pick up a children’s book if the subject matter intrigues me, such as the gay penguins in And Tango Makes Three, which, by the way, galed up huge controversies across the country when (conservative) parents demanded the book removed from local libraries. Age appropriateness doesn’t factor into my selection of books—my preference does. I skip most of the aisles such as politics, metaphysics, sci-fi, romance, and some of the history. They’re all written for adults but I have no interest. Fiction and literature, literary fiction especially, is what I swear by.

7 Responses

  1. I used to avoid YA fiction when I was in high school, as I felt it was below me in some way, but now years later I find myself picking up a YA book here and there and really enjoying it. Silly egos…

    • I grew up skipping a whole generation of YA fiction because they were not available. In Hong Kong, which was then a British colony. YA books would be classics retold in more accessible words. Every now and then I would read a YA book from the library.

  2. I’m sure your early reading habits have taken you far in school. Assuming you are a university student, I’m sure you recognize the influence that reading early and such a diverse selection has aided you academically.

    I tend to lean towards fiction rather than non-fiction as well. I joined a dewey decimal challenge this year to help me read more non-fiction and I have. I’ve exceeded the number suggested for the challenge. Most were business related but I did read a biography or two.

    • Early foray into reading certainly put me at an advantage when I started school. My high school had more rigorous curriculum that by the time I was a freshman in college, I have read over half of the required readings.

      I would read a biography of a favorite author, otherwise, I won’t do it out of volition, not even if I’m paid to do so. Non-fiction other than history and travel also fails to appeal.

  3. I’ll buy a kids picture book if the art is really nice. Zen Shorts comes to mind.

  4. Oh I ADORE Tango!!!! We just bought it for my son but I read it a while ago. It’s so cute. Definitely a worthwhile excuse for reading books for all ages, ;O)

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