Two Decades Old And Still In Love with Books || A Birthday Post + Giveaway

twenty years old

I’m twenty years old today. Officially graduated from being a teenager. Truth be told, this day used to scare me. I loved being a teen. So last night I was feeling nostalgic and shared a short post on my personal blog, reflecting about growth and change.

Fact: I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t grow up a reader. Books have expanded my horizons in a way that nothing else has.
Same goes with being introduced to the book community through blogging. I’ve literally traveled far (8000+ miles from Manila to New York) and met so many awesome people because of books.

Now well-past the YA age range, I had to ask myself- What if my love for reading books, YA specifically, goes away? The thought was terrifying. But as many novels have echoed before, love like that doesn’t just fade. Just because I wasn’t a teenager anymore, like the characters I’m used to reading, doesn’t mean I’ll stop relating to them. After all, most of the YA enthusiasts I know weren’t teens anymore either.

Nevertheless, I’m so thankful for the YA genre for playing such a fabulous role- a guide and a companion of sorts- during my teen years. Thank you to the many authors who wrote stories that portrayed teenagers so realistically. You gave me something to connect with. That connection was precious and it changed the way I viewed life.

Books really were such a huge part of my life as a teenager and I only hope that while all else changes, my love for book stays the same. Stay bookish, always.

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Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.

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63 Comments

  1. Lara on September 23, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Yayyyy!!! Happy birthday!

  2. Shannelle on September 23, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Happy birthday, Hazel! And I get what you mean. Reaching the age of that double decade terrifies me.

  3. Liesa on September 23, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for this lovely giveaway – I found your blog just some weeks ago but since then I deeply fell in love with your content!

  4. Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things on September 23, 2015 at 4:59 am

    Happy happy birthday hope you had an amazing day!

  5. Bieke @ Istyria book blog on September 23, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Happy B-day Hazel!! :D

  6. Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages on September 23, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Awww! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Hazel! I hope you’ll have an amazing day, surrounded by your loved ones with lots of delicious cake and presents! <3

    *whispers* Also thank your for this giveaway opportunity, that's so nice of you!

  7. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog on September 23, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Happy Birthday!!

  8. beyza on September 23, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Happy birthday!! i hope you get a lot of books :D have a great day <3

  9. kb on September 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Happy birthday to one of the very firsts who believed in the idea of bookbed! Ang wish ko ay makatira ka sa isang palasyong punong-puno ng mga libro!

  10. Alice Lionel on September 23, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Happy birthday! I hope you acquire many more books in the future!

  11. Mitchii G. on September 23, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Happy Birthday! It’s nice to know how big of a bookworm you are even all the way back then. I’m pretty sure that you’ll still love reading for many years to come. I think once you’re passionate about something, it’ll be pretty hard to forget. So read dem books, LOL. ;D

    Hope you’ll have a wonderful day! <3

  12. Laura @ Ink Stains and Books on September 23, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Happy birthday! I’m with you, I turned 20 this summer and I thought what if I don’t like to read YA anymore but then I realized how silly that was because I’m still a young adult (I refuse to call myself a new adult because it implies the machinery of the world just spit me into the adult world to be a mindless drone or something) and YA is my first love.

  13. Anette Fabre on September 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    As I’ve greeted you on Twitter, twenties isn’t so scary. :D You’ll have lots of fun when you’re twenty. Trust me!

  14. Aentee @ Read at Midnight on September 23, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Happy birthday Hazel :D! I can assure you that if you love YA, you don’t fall out of love with it – but maybe you can just add more books to your repertoire :D YAY! The 20s have been the best years of my life so far, so I hope yours are also filled with awesome!

  15. Nina on September 23, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Hi! congratulations lady! the picture is lovely, demonstrate the love for books <3

  16. A on September 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Belated happy birthday! With a blog like yours, I don’t think your love for reading will ever go away. And take it from someone (slightly) older, YA will always be there to welcome you home. :)

  17. Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought on September 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Happy birthday Hazel! Hope you have a great year ahead <33

    I used to have the same question as you. I'm afraid that if I become an adult, I won't like YA books anymore. But then I realize that there are many adult who still read YA books, so I don't think that your love for YA will go away :)

  18. Susan T. on September 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Happy birthday! You’re never too old to read YA. I’ve never lost my love of YA even though I just turned 40!

  19. Cali W. on September 23, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the giveaway! You are holding one of my favorite books; Peter Pan. <3 :)

  20. Jenine on September 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Happy happy birthday!! I wish you many more birthdays to come, books to read, and may you influence more readers to appreciate and love books. God bless!!

  21. Ana on September 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Aw Hazel! Happy 20th! I’m pretty sure your love for reading will surpass whatever age you are. Thanks for the countless book recs and for being an inspiration. Have a great birthday dear!

  22. Janine on September 24, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Happy birthday, Hazel! I have to say that you’re on one of my favorite book bloggers and I hope you enjoy your 20th. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales on September 24, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Well, I already wished you in twitter, but still, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You’re one of the sweetest and beautiful bloggers I’ve ever got a chance to meet, and I am so happy that I made a friend like you! I can’t wait to meet you again!!!

  24. Cait @ Paper Fury on September 24, 2015 at 6:51 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! *sprinkles cake crumbs in your hair* I was kind of terrified when I turned twenty because it was like ALL THE THINGS I LOVE WILL BE GONE. Ha. Not true. XD Anyone of any age can enjoy any book, although I think it’s equally okay for our tastes to change too, right?! I hope I never stop loving YA too. :)

  25. Maria Malaveci on September 24, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

  26. Darlene L. on September 24, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Happy Birthday, Hazel!! Dream high and be happy.
    Don’t worry love for books knows no age and no boundary.
    All hail bookish nerds.

  27. Tanya on September 24, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Happy, happy birthday, Hazel! And may your love of reading last a lifetime. :)

  28. Joan @ Fiddler Blue on September 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Happy Birthday! Hope you are having a great birthday :) Thank you for this giveaway

  29. Ailla @ Le Bibliophile~ on September 24, 2015 at 10:10 am

    “But as many novels have echoed before, love like that doesn’t just fade. Just because I wasn’t a teenager anymore, like the characters I’m used to reading, doesn’t mean I’ll stop relating to them.”

    I’ve been scared of turning 18 this year too, thinking that the I would stop enjoying things I’ve loved before but then I realized something that you’ve put into words. Those are the ones I have just quoted above.

    Happiest birthday again, Hazel! Stay amazingly young (at heart) <3 See you, hopefully, soon!

  30. KAYE on September 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

    yey! happy 20th birthhday!!life is worth living so we must enjoy it :) yey!!

  31. isha @ two sisters bloggin' on September 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    happy happy birthday, hazel! wow 20, thats such a huge milestone in life. congratulations for surviving and for being a fabulous human being <3333

  32. Emma on September 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Happy birthday Hazel! It’s so strange to think about not being a teenager anymore… But have a great year as a 20-year-old!

  33. Alexa S. on September 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Happy 20th birthday, Hazel! It’s certainly a milestone age, and I remember feeling just like you did when I hit 20. Gotta tell you – it just keeps getting better ;) And I sincerely doubt your love for YA will ever truly leave you! Hope you had the most wonderful day, and that you have an epic year ahead of you.

  34. Abi Pearson on September 25, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Happy Birthday!!!

  35. Elaine on September 25, 2015 at 7:34 am

    I had the same thoughts for years before I turned 20 :P Anyway, happy birthday and hope you’re enjoying :)

  36. Fantasy Angel on September 25, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Happy belated birthday Hazel!! You are so awesome for giving away books for your birthday! I hope you had a good birthday and wish you more to come!!

  37. Angel on September 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Happy birthday Hazel!! I hope you had a fantastic day. :)

  38. Joana Bento on September 25, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Happy birthday! I hope you are always happy and healthy :)

  39. Summer on September 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a great day for you. I read YA as an adult, and I started reading adult books when I was a kid, I’m not a big believer in letting age or other people’s opinions of what I should be reading get in the way of what I want to read, it’s just about finding the right book to suit my mood in any given moment, and since you clearly love to read, I’m sure that will be the same for you as well.

  40. Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic on September 27, 2015 at 5:31 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I’m sure your love for YA won’t fade and that you’ll relate to the characters for a very long time to come. That’s what I love about the YA genre is that it’s so diverse and tackles so many things and there are so many amazing YA authors that you can always find something that you’ll love!

  41. Kaitlin @ Next Page Please! on September 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Happy Birthday Hazel! I love you blog and all the beautiful designs you create :D (Desperately waiting for your shop to open up again but take your time!) You have become such a great young lady! Thank you for the giveaway and I hope you had a great day celebrating your birthday. ;)

    ~Kaitlin

  42. Rebecca @ Reading Wishes on September 28, 2015 at 4:20 am

    A bit late but….happy birthday for last week! Hope it was magical and filled with memories. And books. Always books haha ;) I’m two years away from being two decades myself, but I can’t ever see myself not reading YA. It’s more than just “books for teenagers”, which a lot of narrowed minded people think and I don’t see myself never reading it once I’m past the “recommended age group. And I’m sure you’ll be the same! You might start reading more NA and Adult, but I’m sure YA will stay close to your heart. Cheesy? Maybe. True. Yes.

  43. Stephanie @ Bookfever on September 29, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Happy (late) birthday! :)
    I’m 23 and I’m still reading a lot of YA. I don’t think it’s just for teenagers. But I also am reading more NA and adult books these last few years too.

  44. Raphaela P. on September 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Happy birthday!!!! I hope this year has been great to you and thw one to come will be full of love,happiness and books many times many amazing books! 😋

  45. Beatrice @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic on October 1, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Belated Happy Birthday Hazel! Wishing you the best :)

  46. Christine B. on October 1, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Happy belated birthday Hazel! Thank you for this awesome giveaway. Good health and all the best books in life xx

  47. Kenny Campos on October 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Although, my greetings is a bit late now, still Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your bday celebration :) You’ve done so many accomplishments at such a young age and that makes you awesome! :)

  48. Valentina on October 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Happy birthday dear! Hope you had a great Bday! Love and kiss!

  49. Donita @ MyRandomBookThoughts on October 4, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Happy Birthday, and thanks for the giveaway! <3

  50. melmarian on October 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Happy birthday and thanks for the giveaway!

  51. Akhfhin Rahardhiyanto on October 4, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Happy birthday! Hope you’ll stay in love with books forever, gain more impressive experience because of books, and thanks for the giveaway! Wish me luck! Hoping I’ll win :)

  52. Enaara on October 5, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Happy birthday hazel!

  53. Enaara on October 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    You’re amazing!

  54. Karla Mae on October 6, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Happiest Birthday Hazel! Enjoy the 20’s year! :) ♥

  55. Anna on October 6, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Happy belated birthday! How sweet of you to do a giveaway for your birthday!

  56. Samantha Wallace on October 10, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Happy Birthday and hope you enjoy it!! Thanks for the great giveaway!! :D

  57. Allysa on October 13, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Happy belated birthday, Hazel! Your blog was the first blog about books I fell in love with and I’ve never looked back since. Thank you for this giveaway! May all your wishes come true and may your love for books never fade away. More power to your blog! :)

  58. Ana M on October 18, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday!! :)

  59. Ashfa on October 18, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Happy birthday!! Hope you had a fantastic day!

  60. bzee on October 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Happy birthday, may the books will always with you :)

    • bzee on October 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      *be with you :))

  61. Elin on October 19, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Happy birthday!! :)

  62. Monica M on October 20, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Well, the great news is that you are definitely not well past the YA age range. YA, as we all know, stands for young ADULT. This range starts at 18 and goes, I would probably say, past your mid-twenties. At least, this is how I have seen several of my favorite different publishers describe the age range. YA and Teen are completely different sub-genres. I just turned 27, and there is plenty of well-written, thought-provoking, and meaningful YA out there! I read plenty of adult books too, but that just means that maybe it is time for your book horizons to grow, not shrink! In other words, look for some new genres and keep reading YA too! So Happy Birthday, and celebrate the fact that there are plenty of great YA books out there just waiting to be read, and brand new genres waiting to be discovered!

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