I consider myself to be an avid reader. In the last 2 years, I have made my way through 224 books. Some books have been forgettable, some have brought me hope, and some books hold me within their pages long after I have finished. The process of choosing my next reads is pretty chaotic. On most days it comes down to what I have access to through my library or what deals I can find on Thriftbooks.
I tend to gravitate towards non fiction, though fiction books have been taking up more and more of my time lately. I crave memoirs that take me through the story of someone’s life. I get inspired reading self improvement books that are riddled with tips on how to live a fulfilled life. I come alive when I am taken through an imaginary hero’s real feeling journey. But here is a secret that I used to hate to admit: I like Twilight.
I know, I know. Yes, I am referring to the cliche story of the teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. Yes, the one where they are afraid to kiss for fear that he will kill her. Yes, the one that has a very dramatic love triangle that caused a nation to pick teams.
Once I started getting into reading again, I began tracking all of my books on Goodreads. I still remember the cringe I felt when I clicked “currently reading” Twilight. New Moon. Eclipse. Breaking Dawn. I spent way to much time hoping that my friends would scroll through the feed quickly and miss that embarrassing update.
Thankfully one day as I was tracking my “shameful read”, I had an epiphany. Why am I taking myself so seriously? Who am I trying to impress?
I came to the decision that I would read what “sparks joy” in me. Does it make me happy while I am reading it? Yes. Then I am going to read it. I don’t have to defend my reading choices to anyone, and why do I think that anyone really cares what I read anyway?
Twilight, Nicholas Sparks, and other romantic YA novels are fun for me to read on occasion. For me, these books fall into a similar category as sitcoms do. Would you want to watch serious drama movies for the rest of your life? No! You need Disney movies and Parks and Rec to break through the seriousness of life.
So here I am shouting from the rooftop: I read the Twilight series every year, and I don’t forsee that stopping any time soon.
Read what brings you joy.
Maybe you haven’t read a book in years because you think you have to read highly praised and respected books. Maybe you have passed by “The Lightening Thief” or other young adult novels thinking, “I am too old to read that.” Give yourself permission to be unapologetically YOU.