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OPINION : Best Books For Every Stage Of Life

Aisha Ademigbuji 

I never knew that our taste in books would change as we grow older. My taste in books did change as I grew, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it until I came across an article about the best books to read during different life stages.

As a little girl in primary school, you would never see me pick up a book that didn’t have illustrations—it was a deal breaker. My childhood friend, Kemi, was gifted foreign books by a kind neighbor, and she was always ready to share them with me. One book that left a huge impact on my imagination was Mr. Icy Cold by Enid Blyton. After reading this book, my imagination ran wild. I would picture myself playing in the snow with the iceman. It was transformational for me.

Gradually, I moved on to reading short romance novels, particularly Harlequin books, and then I got attracted to the crime genre. My favorite was James Hadley Chase. By the time I was in senior secondary school, I fell in love with horror and mystery books. Stephen King became my go-to horror author, while Mary Higgins Clark was my favorite for thrillers and mysteries. During my NYSC days, I came in contact with the Millennium Trilogy, a series of Swedish crime novels, and my life has never been the same. I lost interest in any other author or genre because that series is a masterpiece. I have never seen anything like it to this day.

My point is, as you progress in life, your taste in books will naturally change. It is important that you read what you love. Reading can be a difficult task, especially if you are bilingual, but reading what interests you is a good way to improve your reading culture. You can be a grown man and still find interest in reading books with illustrations—please go for it. You can be a young woman and love to read short novels—please go for it. You don’t have to read a bulky book if smaller books appeal to you. The goal is to read, so start small.

Here is a breakdown of books to read according to different stages of life. This is just an example and not a formula:

Childhood

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
A timeless tale of friendship and courage, “Charlotte’s Web” introduces young readers to the joys of storytelling and the importance of empathy.

Teenage Years

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
This classic novel captures the angst and alienation of adolescence, resonating with teens as they navigate the complexities of growing up.

Early Adulthood

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
A profound exploration of morality and justice, this book encourages young adults to reflect on societal issues and their own values.

Midlife

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
For those in search of meaning and balance, this memoir offers inspiration and insight into personal transformation and self-discovery.

Retirement

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
A beautifully simple yet deeply moving story, this novella is perfect for reflecting on life’s struggles and triumphs in later years.

Any Stage

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
An inspiring tale about following one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart, this book is a universal read that can be appreciated at any age.

As I mentioned earlier, these recommendations are not set in stone. For example, I read “The Old Man and the Sea” at the age of 16.

If you are interested in improving your reading habits and need book recommendations, feel free to reach out to me at ademigbujiaishat@gmail.com.

 

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