So, there’s apparently some new Defender of Mature Adult Literature out there, telling us over-18-year-olds that we “should be embarassed” about our enjoyment of books written (or at least marketed) for children and teens. I’m not going to give this person any fame by naming names…and yes, I did consider the perhaps more effective option of just ignoring and forgetting. Because no, I’m not likely to change this person’s worldview, and nothing they say has any actual power over me [insert Labyrinth joke].
Because, as they so graciously concede (I’m sure I’m just imagining the implied eye-rolls), it’s “Live and let read” in the end, right? Who cares what some At-The-Risk-Of-Sounding-Like-a-Snob thinks? They might even just be trolling for outraged gasps and “STFUs” — with such a sweeping, judgmental premise, what else could they really expect?
But here I am, feeling like I want to say something to all the Railers Against Grown-ups Reading Non-Grown-up Stories. Because what the heck, it’s my blog and I have just as much right to the soapbox as the anti-YA person does.
So here’s my very sophisticated response: Lighten up. Seriously, what’s the big deal if a lot of your peers like something you don’t? Why do we have to confine ourselves to these age-based pens — Kids over here, Teens over here, Adults over there and never the three shall meet? I prefer the model of life as described by the narrator of “Eleven,” by Sandra Cisneros: we do not move rigidly from one year to the next, leaving behind who we were at all the previous ages. Instead, we are the sum of all those years, and we can still access those previous stages.
And that’s not a bad thing. Adults are not “better than” children and young adults. More experienced, yes. More developed in intellectual and emotional ability, sure. But that doesn’t make us “better” in the sense of value, and “Adult” books are not inherently superior to books written for younger audiences.
Are you resentful of the Adults Reading YA phenomenon because you’re having trouble finding people with whom to discuss your favorite books? Or because you’re an author whose books aren’t getting as much love as you feel they deserve? Well, you’re certainly not going to reel in much sympathy by insulting what others enjoy (and newsflash – people can enjoy multiple literary styles/genres. We don’t have to give up one to appreciate another).
Remember: flies + vinegar = 😦 … flies + honey = 🙂
So. Can haz World Peace now?