So, by now you might have heard about the whole Slate article kerfuffle over shaming adults for reading YA (ie, young adult) books (I won’t link to it. It doesn’t deserve the added traffic). In response, everyone and their brother has come to the defense of some of the most popular writing of the day. And why not? Just because writing is targeted to a particular audience, doesn’t make it any less poignant if done properly. YA novels are entertaining and typically focus on a time in our lives when we felt most vulnerable.
To be honest, I never read the article. Why? Because I saw through the title for what it was: link bait. I’m going to denounce one of the most popular reading trends of the day. Watch how quickly the hate mail and comments come flooding in. It’ll be our most “popular” article ever! So, I ignored it. Apparently, I was the only one. Sigh! And, I guess I’m not surprised. Should I be more offended about an article that belittles my chosen audience? Perhaps. But, honestly, has that article changed anyone’s mind? Do you now feel shame when reading your YA novel? No, and you shouldn’t. Do you know why? Because the argument fails at its core.
The simple fact is, if you’re reading, you have already won. Reading is good for you. It’s proven. Reading can prevent Alzheimer’s, make you smarter, make you less stressed, and improve your memory, among other things. Read what makes you feel alive. Read what touches your heart and motivates you to be a better you. Read whatever makes you want to keep reading! Whatever you do, don’t ever fall into the trap of believing that reading and shame should ever go hand in hand. Read on.