Discussion: Being Shamed for Liking YA

I saw this comment from someone in the BookTube community [The Gwendolyn Reading Method] and it actually really piqued my interest because it is very true. You can view her video and opinions here for more back story.

Pretty much what happened was she read an article that essentially stated that adults who read YA are inarticulate and are outside their realm of what they should be capable of reading, aka you’re stupid if you’re an adult and read YA literature rather than adult literature or the classics.

Gwen made some really great points about how that made her feel, but also something that I totally agreed with: we all have our own likes and dislikes, our own preferences as to what we read. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean that we’re any less articulate or capable of understanding, and enjoying, adult literature – quite the contrary! Reading outside what is “expected” of us can actually be a good thing because it can broaden our minds and imaginations, allowing us to view the world through a wider scope than just through a small looking glass.

And like I commented on her video: I enjoy many different genres! From young adult, to romance, fantasy, adult literature, classics, even manga and religious, I read many, many different types because those are the ones that interest me the most based on my personality, my interests, etc.

As a 23 year old, yes, when I walk into my local Barnes & Noble, I tend to gravitate right toward the YA/teen section because, in my experience, that is the section where I have found the most joy, most well loved books I have ever read. And yes, sometimes I do feel a little out of placed – even embarrassed – but that doesn’t stop me from getting books that I know that I will personally love. To say that someone is wrong or stupid for liking or not liking something you do/don’t is just plain rude and pointless. We all have our own opinions, our own preferences, so what’s wrong with an adult enjoying young adult literature? It’s just another way to find that escape we need from the harsh truths of reality.

But that’s not all it’s about for many of us. We simply read these books because we love to read. And when we share what books we read with others and they pick it up, it doesn’t matter if they liked it or not, what matters is that they read. Many people don’t like to read, but if something piques their interest enough, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll find that joy of reading.

Isn’t that what we’re here for as fellow readers, anyway? What difference does age make when it comes to reading and enjoying a book?

Accompanying video: Shamed for Liking YA?


Are you an adult and felt shamed or embarrassed to be reading YA? What about if you’re a teen and you enjoy reading adult or different types of books? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments!

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