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.