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!

Discussion: Genre & Expanding Horizons

Reading is a great thing to do. It’s a great way to escape reality when it’s getting you down, or when you’re bored and need something to do, or even just because you love it; reading is important.

But when it comes to reading, do you ever just gravitate toward a certain genre or certain section of the bookstore and avoid all the others because you know you won’t be disappointed by the genre you have come to know and love?

You’re not alone.

Many people find that reading books from a genre where the majority of their favorites have come from is the be all end all of books. But there’s so much, much more out there.

That’s not to say that reading something in your preferred genre is a bad thing, oh no, quite the opposite. If you love a book simply because of the genre it’s in, then that’s great. Keep reading from that genre. But that’s also not to say that expanding your horizons isn’t going to benefit you, either.

By branching out and reading books from different genres you will discover a whole other world of books, fandoms, and more. You might find that there are some books that are relatable to your current situation, or you might find the subject matter interesting.

On BookTube (it’s YouTube, but book centered), there are many people who love the YA genre of books. I’m not saying that I don’t love YA – it’s my preferred reading area – but that shouldn’t be all you’re limited to in terms of what you read. There are several people who are big into YA that have admitted to reading adult literature or manga or some other form of book that wasn’t YA simply for a change of pace.

And that’s great.

There’s nothing wrong with expanding your horizons. If you’re someone who prefers to read YA, but can’t stand mystery, then stay away from mystery books and branch out to sci-fi or horror. If you’re someone who loves manga, but can’t stand romance, then go for some action-packed books in the sci-fi section or the literature section.

There are so many books out there and there are many, many genre in which you can branch out to – all you have to do is find it. Just remember: what you read, and what you love, are totally and completely valid. But it doesn’t hurt to explore every now and again, right?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below or in my video, I’d love to hear what you think on the topic.

Accompanying video: On Genre & Expanding Horizons