[Tries crawling out of a infinite, information murky black hole.]
[The links have me by the ankle, pulling me deeper.]
[Click us. Click. US. Say the links.]
[One heavy booted kick to the Interest’s face…]
[The internet spits me back out, offended by my bitter taste.]
So… while fending off the tempting allure of links and hastily reading articles this morning, I came across an article at Books, Bones, and Buffy (click here).
In the article, blogger Tammy Sparks reveals the results of a pole she conducted on her blog. She asked her readers their ages and what they tended to read. Generally of course. The aim was to figure out, of her readers, who was reading YA fiction, how often, and at what age. Tammy’s poll is in response to a scathing and idiotic article on Slate.com (click here) about how adults should be ashamed if they read YA fiction. Pfft. But I digress.
Take a look at the poll results. In a nutshell, Tammy’s readers vary from age 14 to 40+ and it seems everyone–regardless of age—reads some YA fiction, if not an even split between adult-directed and YA-directed novels. Most of the readers over 18 read YA because they find the characters and plot more engaging. What I find awesome… Tammy’s readers all agree that “everyone should read what they want, no matter what age group a book is written for”.
Reading is cool. Everyone should read. Everyone should read what they want and be proud because… again… READING IS COOL.
I’ve written extensively about how YA fiction is as rich and thoughtful as any novel meant for adults. Sometimes you can’t even recognize a novel is meant for YA readers. Authors who are known for their very adult work are dabbling in the YA genre. Joe Abercrombie’s “Half a King” dropped today (click here for my review) and Brandon Sanderson will continue his YA superhero series The Reckoners with “Firefight” in January 2015.
I didn’t participate in Tammy’s poll. If I had, I would’ve been in the camp that reads more adult fiction than YA fiction (I’m also in the 31-40 age category, for those curious). I’d say my reading spread is 60%/40%, respectively. For a kid who hated reading, who scrunched himself down in his chair so the teacher wouldn’t call on him to read during class, who used Cliffnotes to get out of reading for a book report, I’m just proud of being an adult who eventually fell in love with reading and who now wants to share stories with others.
Everyone should be proud to love stories. No matter if those stories have a self-centered young protagonist–as most teenagers are most concerned with their tiny worlds of high schools, proms, and dating–or a cursing, philandering, sword-swinging Conan-character who is searching for adventure.
Be proud, we are many. We are readers. And above all else… we are lovers of stories.