Have your reading habits changed since you were a child? (I mean, I’m assuming you have less time to read now, but …) Did you devour and absorb books when you were 10 and only just lightly read them now? Did you re-read frequently as a child but now only read new books? How about types of books? Do you find yourself still attracted to the kinds of books you read when you were a kid?
I didn’t actually read a lot of books as a child—I compulsively reread old books from my parents’ sea of books, as well as comic strip anthologies. (Public libraries and network televisions: things I didn’t understand as a child or during the Wombat Years.) I read How The Irish Saved Civilization at one point as a child, and got nothing out of it. I wasn’t getting a lot of meat off the bones, because I understood fairly little. Because I could read quickly and parrot back story information, I was identified as a good reader at school, but at home, I was paging through books I already knew over and over again. Looking back at it, it was probably a self-soothing exercise, as much as picking my belly button as a little kid was.
I get much more out of reading now. Not only do I read more, I’m a much better reader (in terms of understanding and get much more out of the books I read. I adore having my commonplace book and reading wildly widely, instead of circling in a weird pool of comic strip anthologies, torn up copies of Asterix, and the wildly outdated and homophobic Understanding Other People. Just thinking about going back to that gives me the creeps.