Young Adult (YA) is a genre that has been receiving a lot of attention lately, mostly thanks to some really good book to movie adaptations. It also happens to be the genre that I read the most, peculiar as it may seem. Seeing that I’m 26 years old and a bit far away from the target audience for these types of books. YA books are generally aimed at teenagers, and feature characters in the age group of 12 to 18 years old. Yet, despite these things, I find myself turning over and over again to them. And I’ve had people wondering why (or, more rudely, making fun of the fact that I choose to read this genre).
Like I said, I’m 26 years old and from Romania, aka “the land of what is YA” and “what are these books you’re reading?” (plot twist: they’re not translated, therefore nobody has heard of them, so they assume they’re not good/worthy of attention). I have a friend who owns a bookstore and I casually mentioned to him one time some YA titles, books that I love and consider very dear to me. He looked at me like I was an alien and wrinkled his nose, saying that he hasn’t heard of these books I read, so that means they’re not good. And that I had odd taste in books. He didn’t say it to my face, but it was clear that he thought I was wasting my time reading the kinds of books I read.
And that actually made me sad. I’m not less of a reader for choosing to read these books. Maybe after a hard day’s work, I want to come home and read something upbeat, something that is easy to get into, something that has characters I can relate to. Maybe I’m not in the mood to read essays on philosophy, or a memoir, or a dense classic written by a Russian author. And THAT’S OKAY. YA books give me this. They give me strong characters, they give me adventure, plot twists, life lessons, they help me escape. This is why I read them. And I enjoy them immensely. They give me the joy of reading, and YA books have actually helped me get into reading again.
Of course, everyone should try to experience a little bit of everything, but they should do it to form their own opinion about these books. They’re not lesser readers if they stick to a single genre or if they read a little bit of everything.
I wish the stigma that has been surrounding YA books lately would just…go away. Sure, not all YA books are good. But…if you think about it, not all books are good. Period. No matter what genre they’re from. The point is that we should try to be a little less snobbish and preachy when it comes to what we read and to what other people read. Instead of encouraging others to pick up a book, we belittle them when they choose something we don’t approve of. We whine and say that kids these days don’t read, when the truth is that what they read is outdated. I love reading and I still had issues with some books in high school, because I just couldn’t find a common denominator or something to cling to while reading them. Just stop and think for a second about this.
What I’ve been basically trying to say with this wall of text is this: every reader is entitled to read whatever they desire. May it be a classic, a children’s book or a book of poems. Each reader finds something they can relate to in the books they read. Reading is personal, it’s intimate in a way. Which is why we should stop justifying to others why we read what we read and stop criticizing people over their reading choices.
It’s a free world. Let everyone make their own choices. And respect them.
I’m an American and going to be 50 next year and I love reading YA! I’m also writing some!
A woman’s court mantua of white silk satin embroidered with chenille thread and trimmed with chenille fly fringe, and chenille and silk lace. Dated to 1775-1785, the fabric was woven in France but the dress itself was made in England.
In the vein of Star Trek, scientists are taking various approaches to create warp drive and other technologies to propel humans to the stars.
Ahead Warp Factor 8!
Willard Asylum Morgue, New York. Additional album in comments. [970x600] http://imgur.com/r/AbandonedPorn/KgqD52a