I think I was a voracious reader as a child (my mother used to say I ate books. Oh, mother). In elementary school, as a class we would visit the school library on a weekly basis. I remember fondly returning back and time again to the shelf that housed Dear America series and Amelia’s Notebook.
Sometime in fifth or sixth grade, I hit a reading rut. Some people may call this a reading slump, but I think it was different than that. I literally felt stuck. I didn’t know what to read. I had read all the books in the library that had interested me and I was left clueless.
Then, someone introduced me to manga.
It was either one of my classmates or because I was watching anime on tv. Either way, manga entered my radar.
I had fun reading a book that not only came from a different place, but was bound in a different way, was read differently, and was filled with dialogue and accompanying images. It was fun (and it still is)!
Reading manga also allowed me entrance to the bookstore, a place I didn’t frequent very much until that time. I was excited and relished for the time that I could get a new volume of the current manga I was reading, whether it was Cardcaptor Sakura or Fruits Basket.
As I’ve gotten older, manga has helped me in another way too. Again, when I’m stuck in a rut. Whenever I want to read something fluffy or slice of life-esque I turn to manga.
It’s hard for me to read contemporary YA or Lit, but I have an easier time reading the manga counterparts. So, whenever, I’m in the mood for contemporary I pick up my favorite manga and start reading, or I search for a new manga to read (or I also watch the anime adaptation).
I suppose it is one way I’ve figured out how to help myself when I’m stumped or when I’m in the mood for a certain type of book. Manga is my go-to.