Light fog at Boardman State Park on the southern Oregon coast • photo: Larry Andreasen on Flickr
Anonymous said: I tend to read a lot of YA fiction, and I'm only 22, but lately I've been feeling really judged over reading books from that genre. As though reading it is something I should have aged out of.
First of all, ignore the book snobs! I don’t think anyone should ‘age out’ of reading any kind of book. I suppose I have a ‘legit reason’ as I now work in children’s publishing, but I’ve been loving picture books, for example – the stories are cute, the illustrations are stunning and the authors and illustrators are incredibly talented people.
Did you know that 50% of YA readers are over 18? ‘Young adult’ now refers more to the age of its characters than the age of the readers – YA should be read by everyone. A good book is a good book. It’s always sad to see someone dismiss a book purely because it’s categorised as ‘young adult’ (but then we’re all guilty of doing this sometimes – I do it with the ‘fantasy’ genre, but I’m reading a fantasy novel at the moment and loving it, so I shouldn’t be so quick say something ‘isn’t for me’). YA is such a wide category that encompasses so many different writing styles and plots and genres. Keep on reading what you want to read! :)
Here’s some articles/blogposts that may help you feel better:
Why You Should Read YA Novels With Pride
Ten Reasons Why It’s Okay to Read YA
Why You’re Never Too Old to Read Children’s Books (one I wrote when I was worried I had ‘aged out’ of reading children’s books)
Why Adults Read YA
Why I Read YA
And you’ll find so many more like this.
If I didn’t read YA books I’d never have read The Book Thief, or The Wee Free Men, and the rest of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series! To have missed these would have been an incalculable loss.