I’m dyslexic. I don’t know how many people knew that about me that read this blog, but i’m not overly shy about the fact that i struggle with words and numbers (dyscalculia). In fact, when i was younger, i really struggled with reading anything above the reading age of six or seven. So this is why i feel like i missed out.
As i got older, i avoided books because i didn’t think i could read them. I didn’t think that it would be worth making the effort to try and read because i wouldn’t understand it. However when i was in my mid-teens, i picked up my first book since primary school and sat down to try and read it. I was slow, painfully so, and i got confused easily, but i powered through and ended up reading my first proper adult book.
However, once i got in to the world of books and blogging and reading a lot more, i realised that i missed a lot when i couldn’t read as a pre-teen. People were suddenly talking about the Harry Potter series and A Series Of Unfortunate Events, and i didn’t really have any idea what these books were about (i’d seen the movies, but lets face it, a lot is completely different) and i was a little disheartened that i hadn’t experienced these things as a child.
At the age of 21, i still find myself being a little disheartened when people talk about the books they read as a child and the magical stories. In the last few years i’ve tried to pick up a few popular children’s reads in order to find out what the fuss was about. What i found was that it’s just not the same. Reading these stories as an adult, whereas is enjoyable, isn’t as magical as when it’s read through a childs eyes. Quite frankly, i found some children’s reads dull.
When you’re a child, reading stories such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one of the most wonderful experiences, it’s your first true sense of magic existing on a page. I didn’t get that thrill that a lot of children get.
I think this is partly why i enjoy YA novels so much. I get to be a part of stories that are aimed at younger audiences, whilst using my adult brain and knowledge to understand the world. I’m a little behind in my reading age still i think (this is a whole other conversation on whether YA is meant for adults or not).
Being dyslexic does mean that i struggle with reading. I cannot concentrate on stories for an extreme length of time unless it’s very engaging, and i struggle to understand complicated story-lines, a lot of character names or unusual worlds. This means that i cannot really read many high fantasy books, sci-fi books or anything of the sort. I’ve tried my best with these stories, and i keep pushing myself to understand them and read them. However, i often find myself skimming the pages and taking in very little of the stories.
Yes it makes me sad that i feel as though i’m missing out on some great stories, complicated genres and children’s works of art, but i’m grateful for what i can read. This year i want to try and push myself to read some more children’s stories so i feel a little more prepared when people discuss their favourite childhood novels. To be completely honest, the most disheartening fact is telling someone that my favourite childhood novel was something i read at the age of fifteen.