Thursday Thoughts: Bookish Shame

Thursday Thoughts prompt via Ok, Let’s Read, this week on “bookish shame”.

Do you read exclusively one of the following or a mix: Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade? What are your opinions on shaming adults who read YA? Do you agree or disagree that adults reading YA deters actual young adults from reading because they may “feel as if their genre is taken over?” Do you think NA as a whole gets a bad reputation? Do you think it’s deservedly so?

I don’t read anything exclusively. I don’t really see YA, NA, etc, as genres: that’s more like fantasy, SF, crime, etc. I just view them as helpful pointers as to whether a book is going to be suitable for a given audience. Nothing that stops you reading outside that audience, and there’s no reason to discourage anyone from reading, no matter what. I think there’s bad books in all genres, for all ages, and good books too. We just tend to hear more about the big ones, like Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey that a lot of people dislike.

Now, I do have problems with both of those books I mentioned, but not because of the genre or intended audience. I don’t like Twilight because it treats an unhealthy relationship as the epitome of romance; I don’t like Fifty Shades of Grey because whatever the author claims, it portrays an abusive relationship and makes excuses for it. It’s badly researched, at the very least. I’ve read both those books, too, though not the whole series, so it’s not as though I’m judging them based on nothing but the buzz.

I disagree that adults reading YA should discourage anyone else from doing so. Whether it does or not, I don’t know, but I don’t see why it would. I’ve read all sorts of books aimed at all ages since I learned to parse a sentence, and it never bothered me that anyone else was or wasn’t reading them. If nothing else, it proves the books are accessible and interesting, and not just narrowly targeted at teenagers’ problems or whatever like some books I’ve read that wanted to cram a moral down my throat.

There are some types of books I feel snobby about, but I try to keep in mind that every time I feel that way, I’ll end up loving a good example of the genre. Some markets are more flooded with mediocre books than others, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing of quality out there.

2 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: Bookish Shame

  1. I really love that you mentioned Twilight and Fifty Shades as books you had problems with because of the unhealthy relationship they portray. That’s my issue with them both. It’s expected of 50 Shades, it started out as Twilight fanfiction, the characters were originally Bella & Edward and, as you pointed out, their relationship was really messed up.

    I really don’t think adults reading YA affects whether actual young adults read them. I haven’t seen that working in the library, I’ve even seen parents and kids come in together to borrow the same book.

    Great answers 🙂 Here’s my answer.

    • Yeah, exactly. I don’t hate ’em because everyone loves to rag on them, but because of that stuff.

      That’s awesome! The library I volunteer in is too small to see that kind of thing. We don’t have duplicate copies of any book.

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