I think aging is a topic that I have danced around for many years. I was uncomfortable with the idea of this change my body and mind would undergo. It wasn’t until I hit 30 that I realized this “getting old” business wasn’t as bad as some might have you believe. In fact, my 30s, in spite of all obstacles, have proven to be the highlight of my life. After all, you are only as young as you feel right? Well, then I feel pretty damn old. I prefer to say I am only as old as I act. In which case, I am pretty damn young 😉
But still, each year passes and we age a little more. With that passage of time always comes some form of change, big or small. We grow in a multitude of ways. Views and opinions change or expand. Sometimes the waistline follows suit. I was thinking about this the other day and it occurred to me that I had grown considerably as a reader during the last 5 or 6 years. So I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of that journey and encourage you to do the same.
I began reflecting on my reading habits over the last several years and realized there were a lot of changes occurring. These ranged from what I read to how I read and when I read.
I no particular order, I composed a list of the variations that really stuck out, and I feel can easily be attributed to my own personal growth or circumstances as a result of aging.
- I have developed an appreciation for non-fiction. Maybe this is the biggest transformation in my reading habits and warrants the top spot. But years ago, unless it was required reading, it was a no go. Now I can be found piling on the true crime, memoirs and psych books among many others.
- I read more. Okay, so this is also the direct result of my kids aging as well. I have more “me” time and have learned the importance of making that time. I think we all begin to understand this as we get older. Plus, let’s face it; my social life has slowed way down. I no longer crave all-nighters unless it involves a good book or Netflix.
- This technically could have been lumped into my love of nonfiction, but never has my reading been more diversified! As I age and grow so does my desire to explore cultures and things that might otherwise be out of my reach be it not for books. I want new and fresh perspectives. I seek them out through the pages of titles I would never have glanced at several years ago.
- I crave knowledge! I catch myself actually reading articles for educational purposes. 10 years ago, this part of me would have turned off after work or classes. Now I do it with pride and walk around feeling like a smarty pants with my freshly acquired wisdom (for as long as I retain it anyways).
- I truly care about what other people are reading and how it affects them. I really do want to hear your thoughts when I say so. I love discussion. There was a time when I was a selfish reader. I read for myself and wanted to be left alone to do so. Now I want to share my fondness and expand it through others and the book community.
- Maybe this is the most important one (and also partly attributed to my experience as a blogger) but I respect and appreciate the process that goes into each book I read. From the beginning drafts to the publication and promotion, I see the bigger picture now and it elevates my love of reading to a new level.
- I read where I want, when I want and how I want. I have no reservation about what I am reading or where I am reading it. Be it Helter Skelter or Anne of Green Gables.. I will never fail to have a book on hand and pull it out at any given opportunity. I also find I cannot crawl into bed without a book now.
- Last but not least, I feel that I read smarter. I put down titles that I gain little to nothing from and seek out books that stimulate my mind. I understand that fiction can do this just as well as nonfiction and that enjoying it is the key to retaining it.
Have you aged as a reader?
Do you feel that your reading has evolved as you age? If you look back several years and compare your habits and reading list, what differences would you note? What would be the most significant change in your reading over the years?
Maybe leave me a small list of your own habits below!