As the bus pulled up to my stop today, I couldn't bring myself to put the book I'm reading, PRINCESS ACADEMY, into my bag and give it up for the morning. I thought, 'I still have a five minute walk, why shouldn't I keep reading?' And then I walked down the street with my nose stuck in a book, like my beloved Belle.
I used to do that all the time as a child and teen. I would read while walking, while in the car (until I got sick), while in bed until the wee hours of the morning. I don't do that anymore — at least, not with the same frequency.
I have a bachelor's degree in literature. I am an author. Still, I don't read nearly as much as I did when I was 10. I tell myself that I have a (more than) full-time job, a social life, responsibilities. But the truth is that I've changed, not my circumstances.
I had a full-time job back then too. (Don't even try to tell me that school isn't a full-time job. I was far busier back in elementary, jr. high, high school than I've ever been since.) I had friends and after-school activities to contend with. Yet, I managed to read several books a week.
The fact of the matter is that I had my priorities straight back then. I don't know how or when they got crooked, but somehow I lost sight of the things that mattered most (and I'm no longer just talking about books).
Maybe that's why I'm drawn to YA and MG fiction? Maybe there's something inherently wise about a world free of the crap we adults think matter? Maybe that's why less savvy readers dismiss YA and MG as "simplistic" or "less complex"?