Question of the day.

What was the first adult book you ever read? How old were you? Did you ever read YA when you were age appropriate, or did you jump from children’s books to adult books?

My answer:

I was thinking hard about it and it took me really a long time. Probably both because I read a lot, and I don’t really have memory for such details like which book was first and when exactly, I’ll typically remember the plot line of the book, or other things that happened around the time when I read it, what was going on in my life, what were my reactions to/associations with the book etc. But actually when I thought hard enough I figured the answer was much easier than I thought, because one of the first books I read was a proper, very adult, very difficult book. And I’m pretty sure I’ve even written about it on here not that very long ago. I just got signed into the school library and was reading my first, short children’s books, but they weren’t particularly interesting and too short for me to be enough between the times when I was able to go to the library. So I wanted to try something longer and something that I knew I’d actually like, and asked about brothers’ Grim fairytales. I got a huge book, but, to sum it up, because as I said I wrote about it earlier in more detail, there was a mistake and the book I got was nothing like brothers Grim’s fairytales! And the funny thing was that, despite as I read on and couldn’t get myself at all engaged into the oh so boring, dull plotline, and it wasn’t at all like the brothers Grim book my Mum had read to me, no alarm went off in my brain that, uh oh, perhaps I’ve got the wrong book. I thought perhaps it was some really long introduction (though why it was completely off topic I had no idea either). Finally, a young girl who was volunteering in our boarding school group at the time once came over to me and asked just out of curiosity what I was reading. I complained to her that I got brothers Grim from the library but it’s so much more boring than when my Mum read it to me and actually seems like a whole different book, and there’s a lot about animals. She wanted to have a look at the cover and we were both surprised to realise that it was actually some very fancy book about… white lions? if I remember correctly, something like that. Super geeky! I was still very much learning what the whole literature thing was about and how to deal with books, and while I could read the title page myself and did, it must have probably been too disorientating for me yet. I don’t think I’d be into something like that even nowadays, although I’m sure I wouldn’t keep on reading it for as long as I did, it wasn’t really very much like me, I generally get discouraged with books quickly and give up on them ’cause why read something that’s not particularly interesting if there are so many more interesting books out there, I hate being bored.

Anyway, I must have been about 7-8 at the time it happened.

As for adult book in the context of a book containing so called adult content, when I was maybe a preteen, I was a member of our local talking book library. I loved to read and I would happily to it all the time but I could hardly have enough Braille books at home even with all the different sources I got them from, so mostly I listened to talking books on tapes. The library ladies liked me very much and were very nice, but I don’t think they really knew themselves what they had in their library, what the books were about and what ages they were appropriate for. Because I got lots of books from them that, even though I was quite a smart kid, were often for one reason or another not really appropriate for my age either intellectually or emotionally, in hintsight. That particular “adult” book was about a 15-year-old girl, so actually it could probably classify as YA only it did have a lot of sexual scenes that I absolutely wasn’t ready for then, and found all of that quite shocking, together with that the protagonist’s family was very much pathological, and she herself had a sort of lifestyle that I didn’t realise a 15-year-old could live. I think I did knew the basics about the birds and bees by the time, but not much beyond that, and it was just something very new and very overwhelming to me. I don’t think there was anything pervert or anything like that, just very graphic and the whole book overall had a sort of rough feel to it the way I remember it which made it feel even more overwhelming. In a way though, this new world was even quite fascinating. But I felt very much disturbed and after some time I talked about all that with Mum, and she reassured me, explained some things to me that were in this book and that I was wondering about, and said that if I didn’t feel like reading it further, I didn’t have to, and so I left it. I don’t remember the title of it now, I only have a vague recollection that it was German but I’m not even sure of that.

And as for YA, oh of course I read it! A lot! Since quite an early age, and enjoyed it a lot. Moreover, I still do and read a lot of it.

How about you? 🙂

12 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

  1. The Outsiders. It showed me that the haves and have nots have always existed and someone is always going to be on the outside, looking in. Book still makes me tear me up after all this time. Good read.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My first adult book (that you wouldn’t find in the kids or YA sections of the bookstore) was “Angels” by Billy Graham. I sneaked it away from Granny Franny’s home library because I was afraid to ask if I could read it. I think I was just twelve years old. She found out and said I could read whatever I wanted, so I thanked her and helped myself to her VC Andrews collection. 😀

    I wanted to read a lot of YA, but there weren’t great offerings for me at that age, or at my particular bookstore. So I remember that in high school, I read a lot of Piers Anthony’s Xanth books, which are fantasy/sci-fi, and I guess they have a standard reading level…? I loved them at the time and I might still, but the series devolved into a strange look at the writer’s sexism and bad attitudes about sexuality in general. (He had a lot of female leads who were oozing sexuality and were …. you know… well built and very sexy, I’d say. But then he started objectifying them and making them vapid ditzes, etc. He kept switching publishing houses for the series, but they all had the same problem trying to get him to rein in his perverse tendencies. I think he even published one book–not in the series–in which there’s a child being attacked by a sexual monster, or something. But up until X point in the series, it wasn’t a noticeable issue, and then the series takes a rapid nosedive when the author had a lot of fame and got to have his way about his story lines. Of course, people quit buying his books after that.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It may have been “To Kill A Mockingbird” when I was maybe 12. I didn’t understand the nuances until I was much older of course, but I gained a life long appreciation for a really good book, and have enjoyed that book again and again over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams when I was 12. I had to always read adult books in school from 10th grade on, which I never quite liked. I much preferred YA and still prefer that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well yeah, here we also have a lot of adult obligatory readings at schools, and I think it’s way too much at a way too early age. Most children, if not all, aren’t able to fully understand some of these books anyway and it discourages them unnecessarily. That’s how I got a mild aversion to a lot of decent, classic literature, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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