I was checking out a review at The Last Book I Read in which the author linked to a NY Times article about losing our reading innocence. The author, Michelle Slatalla, posits that it is more difficult to abandon ourselves to a book once we become adults because we have become more sophisticated and know where the plot is going before the author takes us there.
I'm not sure that is the case with me. As regular readers know, I've been working my way through Lori Wick's catalog of Christian romances. You can see where those books are going before you even crack the cover, yet they have come closer to can't-put-it-down status than anything else I've read in the past six months. Her books are so accessible that I couldn't help being drawn in, and reading them made me almost feel like I was back in my reading heyday.
My problem is closer to the other excuse Slatalla mentioned in her article: the pressure of being an adult. Unless a book is an absolute page-turner, I always have that little voice in my head that tells me I should be doing housework. As a teenager, I could block out the world and give myself over to a book, no matter how predictable the plot was. Nowadays I either think I should be handling other responsibilities or at least reading more "important" literary works.
This loss of reading innocence is part of the reason why I am so up in arms about the Accelerated Reader program at my kids' schools. There is so much pressure to earn points that they don't have time for fun reading, and now is the time to do it. By the time they get to my age, they will have even less time for fun reading. I want my kids to enjoy the magic of getting lost in a book before the chance slips away.