Saturday, April 18, 2015

On Keeping a Quote Journal

Keeping a quote journal was an idea I got, of all places, from Oprah. On one of her life class shows she brought out her own quote journal, in which she wrote down quotes from her various conversations with people.
And I thought: I love journals. I love quotes. Why have I not done this?
So I picked a notebook from my collection (is it a rule that bookworms are attracted to beautiful notebooks and journals) and decided to start a journal for quotes from the books I read.

 This is the journal I chose

And here is what it looks like inside

I started this journal last summer, so almost a year ago, but during the school year I used it less and less. I'm reading Just Kids by Patti Smith right now, though, and in the dedication I found a quote that I desperately wanted to write down, and this made me remember my quote journal. I would really like to get back into transcribing quotes in it on a regular basis, because it's nice to have a collection of the words that speak to you. It also is a good way to remind you of the books you've read and your experience reading those books. 
I know some people use Goodreads to keep track of quotes, but I've never used that feature. No matter what system you use, however, I think that writing down or keeping track of quotes you love is a valuable experience for any reader. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Growing out of a Genre Doesn't Make you a Snob

As a 21-year old English major, I'm not only in a weird spot in my life in general, but also in my reading life.
As a teen I was a dedicated YA reader. It was age-appropriate and I gobbled up the books in my library's YA section, rereading my favorites over and over again. And while I think I will always love those favorites, I've found myself increasingly dissatisfied with YA, and not because it's getting worse, but because I am just plain-old growing out of it.
It's not you, YA, it's me.
This is not to say that adults can't read and love YA. Clearly there is a huge community of YA lovers of all ages, and I'm all for that. But they just don't do it for me anymore, and this has been hard to come to terms with.
I do not want to be and English major snob. And not liking YA anymore made me feel like that. It made me feel like I had been tainted by self-importance.
But I've come to realize, after a few years of this awkward transition, that just like anything else, it is ok to grow out of books. It was ok to grow out of Junie B. Jones after elementary school, and it is ok for me to grow out of Sarah Dessen now (Don't worry - two of her books still hold prime spots on my Goodreads "Favorites" shelf). Because what matters is that I am still enjoying books. I still love to read, so much so that I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it, and I get an enormous amount of pleasure out of it.
I've come to accept that my reading preferences are going to change as I change, and that is ok, and it doesn't make me a snob. It makes me a human.
There is just no sense in reading books that you don't like. I'm not shutting YA out completely. If there's a book that sounds amazing and is YA, heck yeah I'm going to read it. But I can't make myself feel guilty for "abandoning" a genre. I like what I like, and if that means I'm going to read the next big Literary Fiction book over the new YA romance that everyone is loving, that is ok, and it doesn't mean I'm a snob.What matters is that all of us are reading the books we love to read.