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Guilty Mom Pleasure: Reading Kid Books For Fun

Reading young adult novels helps me sleep.

Reading young adult novels helps me sleep.

I’m a pretty serious reader. In my purse right now, I’m toting Mrs. Dalloway and a collection of Rilke’s letters. On my desk I have Tara Parker-Pope’s new book about the science of marriage, and Katherine Ellison’s memoir Buzz.

But I keep the good stuff on my bedside bookshelf. The haul right now: the first four Percy Jackson novels, Harry Potter 7 (which I’m rereading after the movie came out), and Into The Wild, a YA novel about a teenage girl who gets sucked into the world of fairy tales.

This is Mommy’s secret stash: a pile of YA books low on complex vocab words and high on adventure. I eat them like candy in the middle of the night, and dip into one when I’m lying down with a restless toddler for a midday nap.

I’m not alone. Essayist Melissa Taylor tells Babble that Percy Jackson is her therapist. YA novels not only fascinate her, they keep her sane.

I know the feeling. I started on my grown up journey into the YA section when I was laid up after a car accident. I had a terrible concussion, and the Foucault essays I was reading for my graduate level literary theory class seemed to wander about the page like a colony of ants. Harry Potter, on the other hand, offered up riveting stories that my addled brain could take in.

From there I was hooked. Often I read YA books that one of the older kids in my life recommends, but sometimes it’s me suggesting books to them. In addition to the pleasure I get from these books, they keep me connected to the teens and tweens in my family.

Do you have a YA habit? What are your favorites?

Photo: TheGiantVermin

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