March 30, 2012

Maybe Branching out is worth it. . .

Let's get this out of the way up front.  If you are at all new to this blog, you should know I read A LOT.  There is always a book on my nightstand, usually a couple.  I have read fabulous books, I have read horrible ones.  I read biographies, memoirs, historical fiction, classics, bestsellers (but only a few), and *gasp* YA and even children's books!  Which according to a certain columnist for the NY Times is tantamount to pornography.

Yep, he really did say that.

According to him, Adults should read Adult books. He posits that because young adult books are written for children, they can't possibly have "the depth of language and character"  as books that are written specifically for adults.

 He does make two valid points:
1. It is embarrassing to see a man reading Twilight.
2. No one should pump Justin Bieber.  Anywhere really.

As for the rest, I disagree wholeheartedly.  YA books are written for a younger audience, it's true, but that doesn't prevent them from allowing us to learn from them.  He hasn't read Hunger Games, so he wouldn't recognize the disgust the of the author over society's fascination with violence moving from a screen into our homes.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he hasn't read The Outsiders either, a great book dealing with the effects of economic extremes thrust together in society. It is also a story about compassion.  And let's not forget To Kill a Mockingbird or Huck Finn.  Because we all know they're not worth reading if you're an adult, right?  None of us ever deal with racism and a society's inability to see past racial stereotypes,  so we don't even need to bother with them.

I won't argue that all young adult or children's novels are worth your time.  A lot of them are poorly written, poorly thought out bits of nothingness.  However, there are plenty of books out there written for adults that are just as poorly written, and poorly structured.  So, maybe it's time to change the adage: Don't judge a book by it's genre.

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5 comments:

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Well thank you! Because Hunger Games is actually one of my all time favorite books . . . and I'm sorry to say I am no YA! Sad, but there ya have it :)

Diana said...

Adults should read adult books - it is true. But there isn't any problem with adults reading other books as well. Okay, let's face it - a lot of YA and children's books are a lot better than a lot of so-called adult books.

heather said...

Amen. :)

Liesl Shurtliff said...

Thanks for getting on a soap box about this. I certainly hope at least a few adults will read my children's book, and find it worthwhile, and *gasp* possessing some amount of depth of language and character.

Really I think this was just a publicity stunt for this guy and his forthcoming debut book. I have serious doubts that he even really believes everything he just wrote; it's just for attention. Kind of lame, but it probably worked. Well, not for me, but probably for some.

SpencernAmy said...

Well said. I hope you left that comment on his feedback section.

I also think it's important to know what your children are reading...there is a lot of crud out there in the YA section. There are several that deal with "cutting" and it's becoming a huge problem even in the church. Luckily, Lindsay recommended a book to me that she had read and we were able to talk about that part in it....

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