Fun fact about this post: it was originally supposed to be about how I haven’t read for pleasure in 7 months, but master procrastinator that I am waited 4 months to write this. Props to one of MY GREATEST FRIENDS bc she forced me to get back into blogging!!! If you’re really confused as to why someone would inflict themselves with such self-torture then allow me to direct you here and here.
Why did I do this???
In all honesty, if me one year ago saw this post, I would be completely shocked. In my three years of reading YA literature, I always knew I needed to stop bc it was kinda trashy (ooh savage, ooh-my-opinion) but I never thought I actually had the guts (or lack of sanity) to stop doing something I loved so much.
Now this is going to get kinda deep… but I feel like in today’s world there is soo much emphasis on following and doing what you love. And I agree, to an extent, that we should do what we enjoy bc our life, if we can help it, shouldn’t be miserable – especially if that misery is self-inflicted. But after reading like 25 YA books last summer (the average length being 300 ish pages) it’s safe to say I was feeling exceptionally guilty.
And this is simply because I guess I have different values and higher expectations for myself (which is perfectly fine and btw: it’s SO okay to read fiction as a means of calming down and everything, but in my opinion, 7500 pages of stories over a few months is extreme… and it’s not like I’m a particularly fast reader either). I would have preferred it if I had read half the number of those books and maybe started learning a language or improved my (STILL SHAMEFUL) cooking skills instead.
So since I went to one extreme, I figured I might as well go to the other. I’d been reading YA books for 3 years now and I had slowly been getting more and more fed up with the recycled storylines, way-too-much-annoying-romance, the stereotypes and the completely inaccurate Muslim (especially teenage) representation. I was also just really upset with myself that I had used up so much time reading YA fiction.
How was it????
I have to admit that I HAD WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS. I didn’t think I would have it so soon or so much, but I did. Also, to be honest, I partly found it so hard because I had really gotten into blogging (I was posting pretty much everyday!) and my entire blog was literally centralised around the YA fiction that I read, so I was also experiencing this blog-identity-crisis (which is part of the reason as to why my posts after August were 1) hardly any and 2) so sporadic).
Once school started, it was much easier because I barely had any time. A Levels hit me so hard (everyone told me they would be really hard but for some reason I thought if I just worked really hard they would become easier… which is true… but still very hard). I was also just stressed in general over grades and school (I had been homeschooled the previous few years).
But honestly, since coronavirus lockdown and the world grinding to a heart-stopping halt, now that I actually have time, I’ve invested that time (which I know if I was still wild about YA fiction I wouldn’t have) in things that I’m actually really proud of. For one thing, I’m learning Arabic, and for another – I’ve been reading so much news, listening to so many podcasts and just in general educating myself and I feel so much more intelligent!
So all in all, I’m really happy that I stopped reading YA. I am also totally NOT judging people who read YA – at all (after all, I was there less than a year ago and I feel you ok I really do) – everyone has their own lives and can do whatever they want with them. I just chose to do this because I thought it would truly better my life, and if you think that boycotting YA wouldn’t do that, then totally stay with it.
Thanks for reading this post! Let me know your thoughts and what you might want to hear next from me! 🙂 Speak soon!!!!