What I was reading 20 years ago

Amazingly, I read 232 books in 2002. I’m sure it’s the highest number of books I’ve read in any year.

2002 was a turning point in my reading as I was still focusing on children’s books and YA (in about equal measures) but beginning to add books for adults to my diet. Those I read that year – all of them for the first time, as far as the record goes – were The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, Animal Farm, The Lord of the Rings, Brave New World, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space and Other Stories, Bradbury’s The Silver Locusts, four of John Wyndham’s books, The Earthsea QuartetΒ and Metamorphosis and Other Stories. As you can see, science fiction and fantasy were my favourite genres. I think they are more accessible for adolescents than other adult genre fiction is.

I read a lot of series that year – Point Horror, the Edge Chronicles, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Babysitters Club, the Anne books, the Saga of Darren Shan, His Dark Materials, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Alex Rider and Diamond Brothers.

It’s striking that I’ve re-read a number of books since my first reading in 2002 – including Junk by Melvin Burgess, The Starlight Crystal and Magic Fire by Christopher Pike, Plague by Jean Ure, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and most of the adult books mentioned above. I also read some children’s classics that year, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper, Charlotte’s Web, The Children of the New Forest and Five Children and It.

Some random titles from the list:

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding, The Highest Form of Killing by Malcolm Rose, The Dare Game by Jacqueline Wilson, Stone Cold by Robert Swindells, Greg by Dirk Walbrecker, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo, The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, The Pistachio Prescription by Paula Danziger, Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman.

Do you remember what you were reading 20 years ago? What were the first ‘adult’ books you read?

10 thoughts on “What I was reading 20 years ago”

  1. I’m enjoying thinking about the questions you’ve raised in this post πŸ™‚
    I think I read the Harry Potter books about 20 years ago too, after my daughter encouraged me to.
    Hmm, the first adult book I read is harder to remember. I read Readers Digests Condensed Books which my parents had, but can’t particularly remember any stories. I also had abridged versions of quite a few classics, too, such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice which I read over and over. Possibly Flowers in the Attic, which I read at about the age of 12 or 13. Not a good start, really.

    1. Classics are great first adult books to get into, some are considered crossover too such as Jane Eyre. I think I did read some abridged versions but felt kind of disorientated to read the full versions later. I suspect Flowers in the Attic is, or was, a commonly read first adult book too. I re-read the HP books every few years! Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. So many books!
    20 years ago I was 8 and I had my head deep in White Fang by Jack London, the book that stole my heart and made me love reading πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for reminding me of such fond memories!

    1. I know! I’m a reading addict. I’m glad my post reminded you of lovely memories of reading.

  3. I do know that 20 years again I read a number of fantasy series, including Harry Potter, LOTR, Narnia, and His Dark Materials. But other than that, I’m not sure. Fun post!

    1. I’ve kept a record of my reading since 2002 so that’s how I know! But I would have guessed HP, LOTR and HDM anyway, I re-read them every few years. Thanks πŸ™‚

  4. Goodness, please don’t tell me you kept track of your reading already as a child/teen? I only started last year! It must be fun to be able to look back on your reading through the years.

    1. I’m afraid so! I write them down in the back of my diary and at some point transferred them to an easily searchable spreadsheet πŸ˜€ Yeah it is really interesting (and useful) to have a record going back that far.

  5. Sadly I didn’t keep a record of my reading till I started blogging so I have no idea what I was reading twenty years ago. But I was working hard then which always stopped me reading anything heavy, so I imagine I was on a constant diet of crime fiction! I’m jealous that you’ve got all your reading recorded from so far back!

    1. It’s certainly a good resource and I’m glad I kept it πŸ™‚ I only wish I’d started earlier and then I’d have a complete record from the earliest years πŸ˜€

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