How I got reading again
I think it’s funny when people try to excuse why they aren’t interested in kids books:
“My kids don’t read.”
“My kids are grown.”
“We’re too busy to read.”
“I don’t have kids.”
“My kids are too little.”
It’s funny because I definitely don’t need an excuse for why NOT to get middle-grade books: Even if my kids didn’t feel like reading that particular book, even though I’m “grown up,” I read these books myself! Other adults may laugh, but it’s actually my favorite genre to read. A great middle-grade book can transport you, connect with your memories and present, not take itself overly serious, and be an adventurous balance between fun and thoughtful.
Not that I don’t understand the excuses. There was a chapter of my life when I stopped reading. I started out loving books of all sorts. During middle school and high school I read and wrote a LOT, both for school and for fun. Then I went and grew up. For a while, I put books on the shelf, and they sat there, just decorations that pointed out my old reading habit and mostly gathered dust now. Because I was a busy adult.
Things didn’t change until the day I was about to go on maternity leave from work with my first baby. A friend took me aside and handed me the first two Harry Potter books. “You’ll appreciate these,” she informed me with a knowing smile.
And she was unbelievably right. Reading a kids’ series for fun was a real way to get down time! I was a brand new mom, insanely busy, sometimes on the verge of yanking my hair out. I didn’t need something that took too long to digest or was depressingly real. Those two Harry Potter books gave me a little break every day, a little holiday to relax, to forget the craziness, and have a fantastic adventure without even having to leave the house. And they reminded me how much I had loved reading and writing before I became “too busy,” how I didn’t have to be a kid to read about magic and adventure and have fun.
So, the moral of my story? Don’t feel like you have to brush off pleasure reading. Books don’t spoil, you can use them repeatedly, you can share them with friends/family, they can take you on the most inexpensive vacation you’ll ever go on, get you into trouble without getting in trouble, excite your curiosity, and let you do and see things you might never get to otherwise. Whether you go for crime thrillers or romance or just let out your “inner kid,” books are always there for you!
I’ll always be grateful to my friend who, even though I was grown up and “too busy,” knew just what I needed: to pick up a book and get back to an adventure.