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all 8 comments

[–]Beginning_Butterfly2 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I was an early and avid reader also, and heard far too often about how the stuff I was reading wasn't "age appropriate". The reality is that most people don't read avidly, and therefore don't understand that a person who does will develop interests, and often comparatively sophisticated tastes for their age- which is how I would describe what you're reading.

The thing that strikes me is also that you seem to be able to reflect on how the material affects you. And that matters. There are (supposedly) some people who do not have a strong sense of self, and who will seek to emulate whatever they read about- personally, I think that that kind of person must be very rare, but people do seem to think that this is a real concern. I would say that as long as you are self aware, and don't feel that you're being influenced towards depression, etc., there is no problem. If you do find yourself getting depressed, then try lighter material and talking to a professional.

I love reading, and at 45, I thank my lucky stars that I was born a reader. It has never harmed me, but has brought me a lot of comfort, enjoyment, and knowledge over the years, and I think it makes me a much kinder and more tolerant person than say...television would have. I never watch the stuff for that reason! Well, Bake off, that's the one exception. But books have enriched my experience of this world in so many ways. I don't think I could handle not being able to read. I certainly wouldn't give it up!

Keep reading what you will, do the smart thing if a text has a negative impact on you, and enjoy the wide open horizons afforded. You're a reader. It's what we do.

[–]Maiyku 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I got told I wasn’t reading appropriate things all the time because my parents refused to limit me when it came to books. I was allowed to read whatever I wanted and what I had available, were my fathers books, so I very quickly started to have “adult” tastes in reading and it honestly freaked people out.

“That’s not meant for a kid.” “There’s death and murder in there.” “You don’t need those kinds of ideas in your head.” “Why can’t you read normal kid books?”

The list goes on.

[–]bratisonn 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think a good bit could stem from older adults not taking teenagers seriously. They underestimate how much you can relate to and have a skewed view of what "childhood" is.

I think books discussing mental health and more serious topics are important for teenagers to know that they aren't alone. It's so isolating to grow up thinking you are the only person to feel a certain way.

I've always advocated for teenagers to read more advanced literature if they are comfortable and interested.

Keep reading and follow those passions of yours!

[–]maxinstuff 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m not sure I understand the problem.

Are people with actual power/authority over you telling you that you shouldn’t be reading these things? Or are you just reading online people stating this in a general way?

I know when I was a teen the last thing I wanted to read was “kids books”.

Read whatever you want. Read widely. Read things you aren’t sure you’ll like. Just read.

[–]shillyshally 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think this is a modern problem. No one told me what to read when I was your age circa 1961. My mom knew I was reading The Rise and the Fall of the Third Reich, pictures and all, and no one said I might be damaged. We read Edward Albee in HS (public school), Moliere, Wilde, Beckett.

Read whatever you want. It's not strange to do so.

[–]bowdowntopostulio 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Read what you enjoy! As a lifelong bookworm my parents still don’t understand how someone can “enjoy something so boring as reading” 🙄🙄🙄

[–]Professional_Cost745 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am 11 have read books such as those, and never been criticized. I have actually been complimented from reading a book of that complexity.

[–]Welfycat [score hidden]  (0 children)

Honestly, I was reading VC Andrews, Stephen King, and others when I was twelve/thirteen when I probably shouldn’t have. I won’t say I turned out fine, but it definitely wasn’t my reading habits that made me turn out less than fine.

Read what you want to read. There’s nothing wrong with expanding your reading to different subjects, but there’s also nothing wrong with being interested in a subject and pursuing it. If mental health interests you, there’s nothing wrong with exploring it, just go in aware that there are some pretty disturbing things in books and something you read might stick with you years after you read it and not in a good way. If your interest in mental health continues, you might want to consider taking a psychology or sociology elective if your high school offers them.