A few writers on Facebook are up in arms following an article published in NY Times online. You can read it in full here. The writer of the piece thinks that adults should only read adult books and not books for teens or children. He says video games and Pixar films are okay as they don’t require brain cells but reading should be to learn and you can only learn from adult books.
Yawn. We should be reading for pleasure as well as learning. I love reading, it provides escapism and the chance to imagine and this is true for me whether I read an adult or a young-adult book. Okay, I’m slightly biased as I choose to write YA books and so I do read a lot of them but this article just reeks of someone declaring something is rubbish when they’ve never experienced it for themselves. He admits he’s never read The Hunger Games. Great so don’t criticise it then. If you haven’t read something, you can’t judge. And especially you shouldn’t judge those you have and have enjoyed it. We all like different things. How boring would the world be with just one type of book on the shelves?
I also think he’s wrong on the learning front. You can still learn from books aimed at teenagers and children even if you are an adult. In fact, when you’re an adult sometimes you forget about the important things in life that YA books embrace wholeheartedly - love, friendship, bravery and fighting against evil. When you close yourself off to experiences then you won’t learn but if you try new things, you might not only learn something new but you might find you were completely wrong and discover that it is amazing. Which YA is – just sayin’.
So for me it doesn’t matter what age you are or what age a book is targeted at, if you want to read it do it and let yourself have some fun and enjoy books. That’s what they are here for, regardless of target age or genre. Unless it’s a school textbook obviously but so people still enjoy those anyway :)
Adults can read YA in the same way teenagers can read adult books.
Okay – rant over. And now breathe.
What do you think?