My Teenage Self

As a kid, I loved to read and our house was filled with books.   As a teen, not so much.  It didn’t happen all at once, but over the course of high school I slowly stopped reading books for enjoyment.  At 12 years old I loved the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and went on to read the entire Narnia series.  I was in 9th grade when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out.  My dad was so happy I liked it, he gave me his old copies from high school to read starting with The Hobbit.  In 11th grade a friend encouraged me to join the school’s book club.  The first book was You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers.  I wasn’t interested in the club, but read anything I could find by Dave Eggers.  My aunt, a huge comic fan, introduced me to Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  I loved that too! But somehow continued to think that comics were only for superheroes and manga.  Other than that, it’s hard to remember.

Honestly, I think I just didn’t know what to read.  I can remember going to Barnes & Noble (we never went to the library) and feeling intimidated and lost, looking at book covers and not knowing what to pick.   Looking back, I see myself as that teen that could have really used a teen librarian in my life.

But what I really cared about was music.  My friends and I were consumed with downloading music, burning CDs, and trading our collections.  I read and collected huge stacks Rollingstone magazine.  In high school I worked at a local restaurant, and I probably spent 75% of the money I earned at Tower Records.  And then I discovered Adbusters, and art and photography magazines.   So, I was always reading.  But back then I don’t think I would have identified myself as a reader.  Reading YA literature now as an adult, I sometimes feel cheated or like I missed out.  This is part of the reason I love the work I do at the library, especially when I visit schools.  Just showing the kids the books, putting them in the hands and making those suggestions is so important.