There are many struggles as one grows up. For those who enjoy reading, this also extends to the different varieties of books. Much like the transition from children’s to young adult books, another shift occurs as these teens move from the world of adult fiction to reading regular adult fiction. Finding exactly which books to read can lead to a stressful trip to the library, as more time is spent trying to pick out books for an extended period of time.
As in the earlier move between stages, this later shift also happens during the liminal time between the end of the teen years and the start of adult life. A stage of leaving familiar books and authors behind in search of new ones and the discovery of different magical worlds hidden within the spines of books on library shelves.
I’m currently in this shifting phase from YA to adult books. While I know I have the freedom to keep reading teen novels as long as I want, this past year I’ve been branching out to adult fiction which I approach with mixed feelings. I’m happy to be moving on, yet sad to leave this familiar world behind. It’s like I’m caught between two completely different places, not quite fully belonging in either. This is a stage that comes with researching authors who write in certain genres and books that may fit within my interests.
To help bridge the gap and get myself acquainted with the authors of adult fiction, I found a genre I liked: mystery. Then I discovered Agatha Christie through being assigned to read one of her novels in high school and began reading her novels that feature the character Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective who pays very special attention to the care of his mustache. I found I really liked her style of writing and the way she shaped her novels, so I continued to find and read all her books that I could get my hands on through my local library.
I still continued to read teen novels but have recently found I was having trouble reading them from the same viewpoint that I had been for quite a while. I began noticing I disagreed with the decisions of or found myself not too fond of the main characters in these teen books. Where I would have cheered them on a few years ago, now my faces scrunches as I catch myself thinking “why are they doing that? They should have done this other thing instead.”
But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy young adult books, but I have become choosier about the ones I do end up reading. Perhaps this is a sign that I’m growing up, but I do find myself more drawn to some of the adult books, especially ones where the main characters are young adults around my age or not much older. Books always have been an important part of my life, and figuring out whether I read a teen novel or one for adults is just another part of what it means to be a reader.