Discussion: Reading YA as an Adult


It’s probably happened to most of us before: getting weird looks when you say you read YA when you’re over a certain age and people think you should be moving on and reading „real“ books. Like Classics. Because we all know a book only counts as a book if it’s at least 70 years old or has won numerous awards. Sarcasm off.

I know some of you might be younger than me and don’t experience this as often, but believe me, it only gets worse. And then you find yourself trying to defend your reading tastes, explaining why YA isn’t all bad and yes, there are bad ones BUT there are so many exceptions!! And while all that is true you also know you really shouldn’t have to defend yourself. So why do so many people judge other for reading YA?
Probably because they’ve never really read it themselves and probably don’t know that it’s all juvenile teenage drama and bad writing. Of course there’s books like that. And of course it’s not bad at all if you enjoy books about teenage drama. But there’s a lot of people out there who seem to think that YA is a complete waste of time and that you can take absolutely nothing from it and that they are way superior because they’ve read 34 classics this year. And they will ask you “So, you like reading? Well, have you read this classic? Or this one?” just for the sake of making you feel bad. Don’t let them make you feel bad.

I will admit that over the past couple of years, I’ve grown a bit tired of YA. Some of the stories and characters are quite similar, and yes, it’s true for most YA books that they don’t discuss the most deep themes and events that are bothering humanity. But that’s not a bad thing. Over the next couple of years I will probably pick up less YA and read more adult books and classics, but that’s mainly because I’ve grown out of the target group of YA and sometimes I do just want “more” from a book than entertainment. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever read YA again because I think it’s juvenile or stupid. I love stories about teenagers and schools. I will definitely still pick it up. And that being said, there’s some great YA books out there that discuss very important themes and that I would describe as quite “deep” (Patrick Ness I’m looking at you…).

So yeah, I guess the bottom line of this post is: don’t be ashamed of what you read. It’s perfectly fine to read whatever you want, it’s about you being entertained! If you want to read mainly adult books that get you to think and read some YA every now and then to relax – go for it! And if you want to only read YA for the rest of your life, please do. Don’t let anyone tell you what to read! 😀

Have you made any experiences with this? Does it bother you?

I’m a first year Psychology student and I have loved books since my grandpa read them out aloud to me when I was a toddler. I could spend hours upon hours in bookstores, perusing and debating over which books to take home with me. There’s basically nothing better than curling up in bed with a cup of steaming hot tea and a good book on a rainy day, in my opinion, and I’d choose a night reading over a night out at the club any day. I read books from all genres and constantly aspire to broaden my horizons.
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3 thoughts on “Discussion: Reading YA as an Adult

  1. This is still happening?!

    People just stop with the discrimination and racism, in this case, book racism! It’s a disgusting epidemic.

    I personally give the middle finger to book shamers. I very rarely read YA, but mostly because I can’t relate to the stories anymore. I’m in a phase where the stories I want to get lost in echoes my thoughts, feelings, etc. I try to be discreet with erotica though because I’m amongst minors. The most irritating part for me is EXPLAINING WHY. It almost feels like explaining climate change to those people in Capitol Hill.


  2. It’s so frustrating to feel like people look down at me for reading YA! For those who don’t read YA, I don’t think they understand. They see them fall into a category about books for teens and wonder why you want to read teenager books. But when I describe what I’m reading to people, I don’t classify it as YA — to those who are fellow fans, yes, but to those who don’t, I catch them with the plot and not the age range. The books are GOOD. Their plots are GREAT. The characters are relatable. And sure, some is juvenile and not all are great but that’s the same with adult books too. Sometimes I feel.. uncouth that I don’t enjoy classics but I’m reading for fun. You enjoy what you enjoy! It’s a really hard thing.


  3. Pingback: First Blogiversary | Brewing Up Books

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