If you’ve been a member of the bookish community for a time, we’ve all stumbled across what we call “book-snobs”. Those who, for whatever reason, think that at a certain age you shouldn’t keep reading and enjoying YA titles. Of course, as I stress in all parts of my life, we are all entitled to our own opinions, that doesn’t mean those opinions should be pushed on other people.
I wonder if these ideas about YA books being ‘grown out of’ stem from this inherent feeling we all have at certain stages of our lives. As soon as we reach a certain age, we all feel like we should know what we’re doing or we should be at a certain stage in our lives at a certain age. We all base our life goals on our age.
Another factor of this could be what we’re taught at school. I remember in my year 6 English, during a parents evening my teacher told them that I need to stop reading books she saw as written for younger kids. But my parents were amazing and literally said she should be glad that in age of advancing technology that I have a huge drive and interest to read any books at all! I’ve said before that my fondest memories as a kid was going to my local bookstore or library and just seeing rows and rows of shelves stacked as tall as the ceiling with books. Obviously, this desire to read was unusual for my age!
But, if we look at why there are still so many adults reading these YA books, it’s something that should be taken into account too. I love a YA book, it’s like the authors have this leverage to be extraordinarily creative with the worlds and the relationships that develop in these books are so fairytale. But I’ve started seeing more adult themes come into the YA worlds which begs the question; is literature evolving?
Long story short, I don’t think that there is such a thing as unmerited reading. In our day-and-age, any interest in reading is special and something that shouldn’t be belittled based on personal tastes. We should all be encouraging each other to read whatever we enjoy and share with each other our favorite stories without fear of being suppressed.
As the very philosophical character, Dory says “just keep swimming”… or reading.