Skyler Boudreau Editorial Contributor and Reviewer

A few months ago, I decided to start reading more essay collections. I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but after some deliberation, I settled on Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. One of the major themes throughout this collection is the evolution of a person into adulthood.

It got me thinking about how I’ve evolved as a reader over the years. I’ve had a great time over the past month looking back and appreciating all the different novels and series that have helped shape my reading tastes today. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. Elementary / Middle School- This was the time I fell in love with long fantasy series. Of course, one of the first was Harry Potter, but think the one that stuck out to me the most was The Lord of the Rings. I distinctly remember doing a book report on the second one, and my mother helping me build a diorama as a visual aid. We recreated the funeral at the beginning of the novel.
  2. High School- My reading tastes fluctuated a lot during high school. I started reading more contemporary and historical fiction. These were also the years I discovered my love of Gothic literature and dark fantasy. I had no problem jumping from Bram Stoker to, say, John Green or David Leviathan. I like to think I changed a lot as a person during high school, and I feel as though that growth had a lot to do with my sporadic genre-hopping.
  3. After High School- This brings us back to the present. The biggest reading change lately has been my interest in essays (like Bad Feminist, I highly recommend it) and longform journalism. I’ve explored a lot of different topics through longform pieces, but I keep coming back to works on the opioid crisis and the U. S. Congress. It’s a great way to learn something new!

Even if two timelines look similar, the same books can and probably will mean different things to different people. Compare your timelines with your friends and family and see what you have in common!

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