Bookish Confessions: I'm too old for YA?! | aka That Guardian Article
Hello my lovely little narwhal friends! I'm bringing you a lengthy Bookish Confessions post today. I had to wait over the weekend to do this because I was a bit annoyed and couldn't really talk about this topic objectively!
Too old for YA? Okay so I'm not.
I'm not too old. I'm 24 (for a little longer). In fact, no one's too old. The wonderful thing about this bookish community is that we don't judge, right? I've talked about YA before, but as you know - I freaking love YA - so I'm taking this chance to go for it again and look at it from a slightly different angle.
I don't know if you were on the Guardian's website last week or saw angry comments on twitter, but Cait @ Paper Fury wrote a wonderful response to this article in their 'books blog' which talked about why 'most YA fiction is grown-up fiction in disguise.' It made me feel judged though I'm sure that wasn't what they set out to do (but really it did make me feel like I was doing something wrong by liking YA as someone 'too old').
A lot of people obviously pointed out that some things in the article were just silly and not true (no, nothing's necessarily terribly wrong with marketing if 80% of YA titles are bought by adults over 25 - the publishers weekly article from which that statistic is plucked is actually quite nice and informative). But even the guardian article could serve as a conversation starter for us in a few things. So is it a bad thing that it was published? No, of course not.
There was a story I wanted to tell you about my reading habits when I was a young adult, or at least within the brackets of the intended audience for YA (oh so long ago).
I read through the kids' section (which included YA - though not a whole lot of it) at my library by the time I was about ten or eleven. After that I ventured out into the adults' section which was massive and had everything. I started with Margaret Atwood because... she was the first author I came across who had a dozen of her books in a row on a shelf. (I started alphabetically going through the shelves, of course.)
ANYWAY. So that's where I stayed for the next decade. Reading adults' books as a kid. I understood them, I got things out of them, and I learned a lot. But I never felt like I could tell anyone I read - especially as a teenager, I didn't even talk about it to my friends. I wasn't a popular kid by any means, and because I was quiet and got high grades I was already labelled a geek, a nerd, a teacher's pet. So of course I wasn't about to tell anyone that I read books for fun. It just wasn't cool.
To sum up: As a young adult I didn't read young adult.
...This is turning out to be a much longer post than I thought so I might make this into a series of posts in the following few weeks.
But for now: instead of some of the things pointed out in that article, I'd like to bring up a few other topics that we can discuss in the comments or in later posts.
- Why is so much of YA marketed towards girls and young women? (or do you think it's in fact marketed equally towards both sexes/genders?)
- Why is it that it's not cool to read books?
- If you're a teenager or you read a lot of YA as a teenager - do you feel like YA caters more to adults and not to teens?
- Why can't peer pressure be about positive things? (little Annika wants to go into social commentary...)
So... what do you think - about the article or about any of my points here? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments or in a post of your own if you feel like you'd like to do your own discussion post - because I do feel there's a lot to say on the topic of YA.