Read What Makes You Happy

Untitled design-3 by Claire Golden

As someone studying French and English, books are pretty much my life. I’ve loved reading since I was a little kid. I remember toting around the seventh Harry Potter book when it seemed almost as big as I was. Although I have less time these days, I still read for fun, and Powell’s City of Books is my favorite place in Portland. But for a long time, I felt self-conscious about my reading choices.


I always thought that English students were supposed to read Literature with a capital “L” in their spare time…the kind of books that are assigned in class. I felt insecure because most of the books I read are young adult (YA) fiction. I read to escape from the real world, and books like The Hunger Games and Throne of Glass are exactly what I need after a long day of analyzing literary fiction.

Our society has a tendency to dismiss things that teenagers like – especially teenage girls. (Take boy bands, for instance.) Because teenage girls are the main connoisseurs of YA fiction, it gets a bad rap. But there are amazing YA books that people are missing out on because of this mindset. And, honestly, so what if a book is “shallow”? If reading mass-market romance gets you through the day, then it’s time well spent.

I’m proud to say that I’m a literature student…and I read YA. Nobody should be ashamed about reading what makes them happy. Can you relate to this? What do you enjoy reading?

One thought on “Read What Makes You Happy

  1. I am a little torn by this post. I tend to think reading as fundamental to continued education. It can be a way of improving our understanding of certain parts of our world that didn’t get in our formal education. As a transportation engineer, I didn’t find the time to study planning issues like how different land development may effect the Walkability of a community or how past government policies segregated our community single handedly giving some people an advantage over others. So, while reading YA may be fun, is it really investing in you as a future person who might be educated on an important issue like climate change or whatever issue you think is important. That being said, YA is probably better for you than some social media that leads you to share an idea with a random blogger that you find. Or maybe not, if that blogger thinks it is cool that because you were on social media you were reading some of their writing instead of reviewing a term paper written from summer. Well, here’s to good writing, thanks for sharing!

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