An open letter to the reader falling out of love with their favorite books

Dear reader,

Like a lot of avid readers, I first fell in love with reading because of one specific book. Something about the way the story was told and the way characters where introduced and the problems they faced made me immediately fall in with reading. The first book that I fell in love with made me fall in love with YA.

Fast forward a few years, YA books became my solace. It’s what I read, what I related to, what I bought.

But it’s strange.

I’ve noticed that, in the past year or so, I’ve started reading a lot more general adult fiction. Those are the books that I’m reading, relating to, and buying. I’ll have a full month where I don’t read one YA book and then, like this month, YA books will be the only thing that I pick up.

Even though “they’re just books,” and not at all tied to who I am as a person, it’s difficult to realize that I’m starting to drift away from a genre that I considered my home.

But I’m here to say: the books that you read do not create your identity nor do they determine your value in any space, digital or physical.

As a reader, the books that you gravitate to seem to end up equating to a personality trait; they become a third arm in the way that you’re always carrying a book from your choice genre, you automatically go to that section of the bookstore, or it’s what you choose to verbally talk about or write about online. So, when we feel as if we are losing our love for whatever that genre is, it feels like we’re losing a part of ourself. It’s a rather dizzying thing to experience.

You begin to feel guilty for not loving the books that once stole your heart, even though there’s absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Think about it this way, whether you loved reading from the moment you were born or later on in your life, some book came across your way that made you fall in love with losing yourself in a book. Had you not picked up that first book, maybe you wouldn’t be the avid reader that you are today. So, simply said, you took a chance on that first book, and you can take a chance on other books too.

The book(s) that you read that turned you into the reader you are today didn’t decide your whole reading identity, it just simply built the foundation. That first book built your love of words, stories, characters, and far-away places, but it certainly did not back you into a box, limiting the types of books. that you can read.

It’s really easy to feel guilty when you don’t fall madly in love with the books you once called home, but sometimes you have to move.

Trust me, I get it, As a sixteen-year-old that hated reading, I found solace in YA books. Now, as a twenty-two-year-old reader, I’m having difficulty relating to the same experiences that I read about six years ago. I’ve started picking up horror books, general fiction books, biographies, and I’m falling in love with them the same way I fell in love with YA.

It’s not the love of a genre that owns a reader’s heart, it’s the escaping to a new world, learning something worthwhile, and reading in a perspective different from your own that makes a reader.

And, even if you find yourself disliking your favorite genre, it’s okay to take a step back. Nothing is permanent, and no one is telling you that you’re not allowed to go back to those books some day. They’ll always be there for you, should you chose.

I’m here to tell you are more than the books you read, and it’s perfectly natural to discover new lands, new world, new people that make you drift towards another genre.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay.

I hope that you found some type of comfort in all of this and that you’ll feel less guilty reaching for a book outside of your usual reading zone. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall madly in love with a new genre that you can call home.

Sincerely,

Lauren xx


This post has been living in my mind for quite some time, and it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to finally get it out there.

Like I said, I’ve been feeling a falling-out-of-love experience with YA books and after talking to a few of my friends, they’ve also been drifting away from their choice genres, making me realize that this could be a somewhat universal experience.

I’m not quite sure that I was able to perfectly get out all of my thoughts into words, but I do hope that this open letter does help some readers out there, because feeling guilty for not reading a book that you’re quote en quote “supposed to love” is genuinely a waste of time.

Loving to read is loving books and their ability to transport you, not loving one very specific genre.

Thank you for clicking on this post and taking time out of your day to read it; it means more to me than I could tell you. Especially because this post is a bit different than my usual, I’m happy that you still found it.

And I’m sending you all the biggest hugs should you ever find yourself falling out of love with your favorite books.

9 thoughts on “An open letter to the reader falling out of love with their favorite books

  1. I am SO GLAD I came across this post! I’ve had this experience in a few different ways and I’ve been feeling so off-kilter because of it. Like, everyone obsesses over Harry Potter, and while it was foundational to me as a reader and I appreciate that series so very much, I don’t still have that same love for it as I once did.

    And even for series that a few years ago I raved about, after some time has passed I no longer feel as deeply. It’s more of a nostalgic feeling at this point. And it feels so WEIRD! Because as you said, so much of my identity was tied into those books. But I’m going to work on untangling myself from what I read. They are a part of my reading identity, but not the totality. And it’s okay if my favorites change. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just absolutely made me day! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m so super happy that you came across this post as well ❤️

      And I totally can relate to everything you’re feeling. It’s really dizzying when you start realizing that your favorites aren’t your favorites anymore. It’s definitely understandable that you don’t have the same love for Harry Potter that you once did. Just because you don’t obsessively love a series anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t still appreciate it. Harry Potter helped build your love for reading, and that’s truly all that matters!

      You’re are so beyond right in saying “I’m going to work on untangling myself from what I read.” Because it’s not just a simple switch – I think it’s so engrained in readers, for who knows what reason, that we start to equate our reading identity to specific books and not their genres.

      Thank you so, so much again for reading my post and taking the time to reply 💜

      Like

  2. I completely get you on this one! I’ve also been re-evaluating my love for YA lately. It hasn’t been quite grabbing me the way it used to, or at least the last few ones I’ve picked up anyway. My only 5-star read this year was an adult fiction book, and my second favourite book of the year was an adult fantasy. I think I will still always love and read YA, but I will likely become a lot more picky about what YA I pick up, and I expect I will start leaning more towards adult fantasy.
    It’s a bit of a disconcerting feeling, that’s for sure, but when you step back, it makes sense that it would be a natural process!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I TOTALLY feel that! My relationship with YA has been such a seesaw lately. I put down one YA book earlier this month because I simply wasn’t in the mood for it, and I started a YA series instead and am now on the third book because I was instantly sucked in.

      I definitely agree with you on reading and loving YA. It’s where I found my love for reading, so I’m always going to have an appreciation for it. I also find that a lot of YA books are just so brutally honest in ways that adult fiction aren’t. Then again, I sometimes find myself annoyed with a YA protagonist because “finding a date to prom isn’t even a real problem !!!! stop complaining !!!!”

      And hey, being picky about what you read could be a great thing! Then, you’ll know that what you are reading, you chose for a good reason.

      Liked by 1 person

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