Does age matter when reading?

Vector silhouette generation women.

Does your age matter when you are reading? Now by that I don’t mean should you only read at certain ages, I mean does how old you are have an impact on your enjoyment of reading particular books? Of course, adults aren’t going to love books meant for toddlers, but I’m talking about “proper” books.

Most books have a target audience, at least in terms of age, so if a book is aimed at people older or younger than you does that mean you wont enjoy it? Personally, I usually don’t like YA or “new adult” and of course I am not the target audience there. How about classics? They are forced on most kids at some point during school and “average” kids often don’t like them. Why? My guess would be the language. Usually it is more difficult than with modern books so can be an effort to get through to get to the actual story. When people go back to read classics as adults however, those same people often enjoy them. Why? By that stage they have been exposed to language a lot more so perhaps they just automatically find the language easier to understand and can focus on the story? So, that would suggest age really does matter.

On Booktube I have seen quite a few videos where people mention that they think their younger self would have enjoyed a book more so it stands to reason that age does matter. There were a few books I read at school that everyone in my year group was reading and loving, so when I see a bad review for those books, I wonder if it because of the age of the reader. Pretty much every book has mixed reviews right? Are the bad ones because those people saw or didn’t see something in the book that other’s missed? Or is it an age thing?

What do you think? Are there books you loved at school that as an adult you now think aren’t so great? Or books you hated at school that you now love as an adult?



6 thoughts on “Does age matter when reading?

  1. Hmm an interesting question! I know exactly what you mean about the classics (often wordy Victorian tomes) forced upon kids in school. How could anyone look at those and think “Fourteen year olds are gonna LOVE this!”? Saying that, though, I never thought I’d enjoy YA or children’s fiction as an adult, yet I often do. I’ve read some fantastic books aimed at a younger audience, books that often incorporate more serious themes such as death and loss.

    It’s a difficult question to answer. I think a lot of it depends on the individual 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with Jazz – it depends on the individual. I was a 14-year-old who enjoyed the classics (and I still do!). I never read YA, when I was in the “right age group”, and I still don’t like the genre. If anything, I now get more out of the (very few) YA books that I do pick up because I get a better sense of why an author would write something in a certain way to appeal to the “target age group”.

    I do believe that a book can give something to a reader of any age – but depending on age and experience and whatever is going on in their life, a reader will take DIFFERENT things away from the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it matters with a lot of people… but it doesn’t really matter to me! I still really enjoy reading children’s books. Not like picture books, but groups meant for kids in 6th to 9th grade. So I guess maybe middle grade is a better example. Think more like Artemis Fowl and Diary of a Wimpy Kid rather than Magic Treehouse. I figure the authors enjoy writing them even though they’re adults, so why can’t I enjoy reading them??

    I also think a lot of times when people say, “I think seventeen year old me would have enjoyed this more,” it’s more about experience than age. Because they’ve read so many other books, they realize this one isn’t as great. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Experience comes with age though so that would mean that age does matter! I’m always a bit scared to re-read books I really liked when I was younger in case I don’t like them now, I don’t want to ruin my memory of them!

      Liked by 1 person

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