Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adults reading YA: Is there a stigma?

     I am 26. I realize that, technically, I'm closer to 30 now than 20, and am therefore no longer in my early twenties but in my mid-twenties (ugh, I'm still processing that...) At my library the YA section is in the Children's section, in a separate room and floor from the regular adult section. Suffice it to say, this makes me feel a little bit weird about browsing in there. I can't be alone in this, right?

     Here's the thing, though. The themes present in YA novels are the same themes present in novels for adults: sex, love, lust, civil unrest, violence, family issues, etc. My library even has The Hunger Games series stocked I'm both the adult and YA section, and novels by Dickens and Shakespeare are also in the YA section.

     I've realized through blogging that I am absolutely not the only adult who reads YA. A big portion of the buzz and support for YA novels and authors comes from bloggers, a good portion of whom are in their 20's. Books like Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games broke a lot of barriers in the literature department, and it isn't uncommon to see older adults reading these novels that have been made into epic movies.

     So why is there still a stigma to adults reading YA? Why is it still looked down upon as a somehow lesser form of literature, when the themes are similar to ones Shakespeare wrote about, and his novels are considered timeless classics and, in my high school at least, required reading? Is this stigma imagined?


  1. I feel twitchy heading to the YA section, too, since in my libraries and bookstores, it's always near the children's books. I'm 31, but I still love YA. I don't think the stigma is imagined. I just think it's ridiculous...for the same reasons you mentioned. I mean, I still feel like a young adult, so why can't I read like one? :P

    1. I totally agree. I feel like I still relate to the emotional issues present in YA novels, and there shouldn't be any awkwardness but there is and it stinks. And some of the covers of novels make them totally embarrassing to read in public, too. I mean, they must even embarrass actual teenagers! Hmm, tangent. : )


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