alice grass

Read What You Want!

Sunday, June 8, 2014
I recently heard about a post .. I am sure you all have heard about it too... that puts people down for what they are reading.  It basically says we as adults should be ashamed and embarrassed for what types of books we read. I will link to it here only because I can't stand when people start talking about the drama in the book world but won't actually say or link to what it is but will make you guess as to what is happening.  So there it is ... go there if you choose to.


For those of you who follow my blog you probably can see that I review a wide variety of books.  Adult books, YA books, comics, pop-up books.  I love them all.  I was not always a YA reader.  I read YA in middle school and the start of high school.  I then stopped reading in high school (boys, work, partying, blah blah took it's place).  Then I got married and moved away from home.  I had no friends and my husband deployed so I was all alone and picked up a book.. a Stephen King book.  I was pulled back in the world of reading.

I then joined goodreads.  This is when I was thrown back into the world of YA.  I hadn't heard much about it for years and then I met someone on goodreads who was starting two book clubs.  A scifi/fantasy group and a young adult group.  He needed help with them.  I volunteered.  The scifi/fantasy group filled up and he asked if I would be willing to help with the YA group. I said yes.  It had been years and years since I had read a YA book.  I remember the first book our group read was The Book Thief and I was blown away. I thought... wow, is this what I am missing??? I just love to read a wide variety of books.

I don't see why it matters what people read so long as they are reading.  I don't know anyone (IRL) who reads except my mom and my sister.  That is one reason why I blog and why I in book clubs on goodreads.  I think to myself .. what does it matter?  I also read comics and enjoy video games.  Why should we change who we are and be embarrassed? I could care less.. and yes... I do get the looks when I tell someone I am reading a young adult book.  Though why is it OK to read a classic YA novel??  Like the Secret Garden for example?  Instead of shunning those of us who read YA we should just all be happy that people are reading.  Maybe like me... you could pick up a YA book and see what you are missing.


This post shouldn't even just be about young adult books.  It should be about all books.  Do you love Manga, non-fiction, cooking books, even magazines?  Reading should be about our love for enjoyment, learning, getting out of the real world for a time.  As readers we should be united and we should be encouraging others to read.
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52 comments:

  1. Well said! I remember the uproar against Goosebumps and comic books when I worked in a bookstore, as parents thought their kids should be reading "real" books. I always pointed out that all reading was good, no matter what the source, and should always be encouraged. I remember starting out with comic books and look at me now! *L*

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

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  2. You are absolutely right, Angela. The important thing is to read, and to enjoy and/or benefit from what you read. Read what you love, and enjoy it -- and every now and then, stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, because you just might find a new author or new genre to love!

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  3. I just read that article, and another by the same author, and came away thinking she needed to grow up. I agree with you, I'm happy people are reading at all and half the time I couldn't tell you which genre the book I was reading came from!

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  4. Amen! I may not like 99% of the YA books I've read, but judging someone based on your own reading tastes is ridiculous.

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  5. I tend to stay out of things like this becuase I feel everyone is entitled to their opinion and that's fine. I read the post in question and it really made me mad. I'm not a fan of YA but I have read some and really enjoyed it. I also read comics and I'm 30, does this mean I should be ashamed? No, not at all, this is what I like to read to relax and give my brain a rest.

    To me YA isn't an age group, it is a genre just like mystery and Romance. I don't care for Romance but I would never say someone who reads that should be ashamed. We are all different in our likes and dislikes and that makes the blogging community so interesting. Didn't mean to rant but I do feel like I needed to stand up for the genre even though I'm not a huge fan.

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  6. Great post! That article is getting a lot of buzz right now (it's even being talked about on CNN's website today). I have eclectic reading tastes and I love everything from YA to the Classics, and just about everything in between :) I'm also a 35 year old mom of three kids, who has a BA in English. Good books are good books. Period.

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  7. I was gonna say it should so not apply to just YA and then you gave the perfect closer! I don't really read YA but you get it a lot of you read erotica/erotic romance. People slam it all the time and can rally talk down to you about your reading choices. So frustrating! And disappointing too that people behave like this. I might not love someone's reading choice or relate to it but they're reading. That's what's important!

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  8. Yes! I definitely agree with you. I saw that post before and it was saying how you shouldn't read things that aren't in this world, in this time and in your age group. I don't know what the writer of that post thinks but I'm pretty sure most readers read to experience a different world. Something different from our own. And we read to empathise and connect with the characters and writing no matter how different they may be.

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  9. agreed agreed agreed! Well said - I borrowed 'the fault in our stars' from one of my 15-year old students and I quite enjoyed it. Was it War & Peace? Not at all and that's fine with me.
    I'd argue the same with 'what are you listening to?' - if you're having fun, go for it.
    The Book Thief, so good but so sad!

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  10. Carpe librum! Read what you want! I'm not going to click on the link because she doesn't need another page view.

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  11. I read Charlotte's Web this year. It was book I never read when I was in grade school because I thought I wouldn't enjoy it. Should I be ashamed the I read a children's classic? Every read was offended by this article. I think Slate just was slow on news that day. I don't care what anybody else reads as long as they enjoy the books they read and are reading. I will never be ashamed to read and I don't feel like people should ever make us feel that way.

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  12. shootingstarsmagJune 8, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    I totally agree! I haven't read the article, but I did hear about it. In general though, I think it's great that people read...no matter what. A friend of mine had only read like one book in her whole life and she started reading the Fifty Shades books. I thought it was great, because, hey, she's reading and finishing a novel. That's a big deal. What's even better is that she now reads a lot of other books, from adult to YA.

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  13. I definitely agree with everything you said. It doesn't matter what you are reading or how much you are reading as long as you are enjoying what you are reading. I really enjoy reading different genres and discovering new to me authors and books that blow my mind.

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  14. I loved Fear Street as a kid/teen. Those books are simple reads but fun. You are right.. I suppose they are not want some parents would call "literature" but my mom let me read them regardless. She just loved to see my loving to read. I have them all still and they proudly have a shelf on my book shelf... even as an adult.

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  15. I even feel this way in blogging. If a blogger is enjoyable I follow their blog even though we may not read the same types of books. Usually there are discussion posts or Sunday posts where I can chat with them. I still do read their reviews and even find new books that way.

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  16. I think that author is seriously just looking for attention. Why else would you write something so mean. Honestly though what I think is great about it is that it is bringing the book community together as one. We all seem to believe that we should read what we like. I haven't seen a blog post yet that has agreed with what she is saying.

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  17. I agree... and really you and I read totally different things and yet still find things in common. It's OK to be different and read what you want.

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  18. That is a GREAT point. Why is YA an age group instead of a genre. I think of it that way too. I think YA anymore seems to just have an antagonist that is a teen but yet the book is an adult book (Ready Player One is a great example of this to me). I just am shocked someone thinks it's OK to put people down but this is the internet afterall.

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  19. I love that you threw in your credentials! Yes.. you would be her prime audience meaning YOU shouldn't be reading YA. LOL! So crazy. It's just like the old question.. what is being well read? Are you well read if you read classics... are you well read if you read popular books. Why do we even care??

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  20. I agree. I admit .. I have to squeeze in Classics every now and then. But I enjoy reading them. I also really enjoying these YA dystopians that keep coming out. I just can't help it. They are enjoyable to me.

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  21. I have to agree with you there too. Erotica is one of those genres people act like is totally not literature. But I suppose to this woman you are OK since that is a grown-up story. Then there is a little sex scene in YA and people lose their shit. I don't understand why it matters whether we get an escape from the real world whether it be YA/Erotica/Comics.. I hope that teens are taught this by their parents and read what they enjoy.

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  22. Yes! I love to connect with a character or be in a new world. I especially love fantasy novels because the world building takes me from this boring everyday life, to a world with unicorns and such. I don't know why I enjoy YA.. I suppose it's because there is still an innocence there and so the author doesn't concentrate on everyday problems.

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  23. Yes.. I agree... Music is also apart of this. People get judged about listening to rap, or heavy metal. But if you listen to classical then you are just perfect. I love all music (as you know). I just love the variety and can go from country to jazz in a split second. Judge me all you want but I can rock out!

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  24. I agree... I didn't want to post the link but I can't stand when I stumble upon blog posts where they rant and rant but never tell us the source or really what happened. Half the time I am in the dark because of this. So I wanted to give people a chance to see what the fuss is about before I went on a rant about it.

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  25. Slate is looking for views and for controversy. I heard Miley Cyrus say once (after she changed her look and kinda went crazy) that before that no one was really noticing her. She changed then had a number one hit and everyone wanted to know what she is up to. Controversy brings views and comments and everything else someone is looking for on a website. Which is too bad. Positivity seems to never be the big seller.

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  26. I think Fifty Shades is terrible literature and story. BUT that being said.. just like Twilight it has a lot of people reading. I think it's funny when they state that they are readers.. but I just smile and say it's great. The author even stated once that non-readers read her books. True story I suppose. But it can be a gateway into other books. I have a friend who was a Twilight reader and went on to read Game of Thrones which is a huge book!!

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  27. Like you... I even read children's picture books. I don't even have kids. I just enjoy the art work to be honest. So when I hear about one that everyone is talking about, I pick it up and take a glance. There can be amazing art in those books.

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  28. Lisa @ Captivared ReaderJune 9, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I say read what you want too!! No one should be made to feel embarrassed or harassed about what they read... I actually think that that by 'criticizing' what people read, may deter a person from actually reading!!

    I read a wide range of books from serious classics and nonfiction to fun, lightweight reads too and anything in between. I haven't had anyone criticize what I'm reading in forever... Years ago, I had a few book snobs comment that thought certain genres were beneath reading, LOL!

    These days though, I'm not criticized for what I read. Instead, I'm usually told by a few well meaning, non-reading friends and family members that I read too much and should enjoy other activities!! I take their comments with a grain of salt as I am a well rounded person and participate in other activities besides reading. Just because I read on average of 52 books a year or more doesn't mean I don't have a life.

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  29. This is absolutely true - that article was such a waste of time, I skimmed through it, and immediately regretted putting such ridiculous opinions in my head. Any kind of reading is good - and if people enjoy something, then the better for them! And the better for everyone! Like the Doctor says in Doctor Who "What's the point of being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes?" :)

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  30. I agree, we all should read what we want to read. Who cares! I think it's totally lame for people to judge people who in their eyes should not read YA, but only adult books. Instead of judging people, they should try and pick up a YA book. They might even love it. :)

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  31. I have had someone try to shun me for reading Stephen King. They seriously had this look on their face like how dare I read him. Like he is complete trash. They are this type who only read say classics and books like that. I do also have nonreaders tell me I read too much. That I always have a book in my hand. Damn Right I do. I love to walk in a house and see a huge library. It is like decoration to me. I have a lot of other hobbies aside from reading too so I don't ever know why people even care what I do.

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  32. I only skimmed it too. I thought it might've been more well written and had better points. But there was nothing. I have never let my childhood go. I have fun in life and smile and laugh. I think I can also make my own decisions as to what to read.

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  33. I agree... why not give it a shot. The problem is if you don't read YA you may pick up one that isn't that great. So maybe if they looked around and found recommendations they might find something fantastic.

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  34. Oh I completely agree and I LOVE how you responded! That article made me so so angry. *shakes fist at article* What I particularly hate is that the writer of the article assumed that we should all think/act like they do on this subject. WHAT. We don't expect everyone to love the same sports or food. Why are books different?? I am not a teenager but I love YA and I'm not ashamed to be reading it.

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  35. I agree.. everyone has different interests. Why should everyone think the same way. What a dull way to live. You are right. I love to have different interests then other people. Then I can introduce people to new ideas. I think that is so fun!

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  36. I agree with you on that! I've definitely seen response posts that link to nothing. I always wonder what the other side really was...

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  37. We should never be ashamed of what we like or enjoy. People give me the same look when they find out I love Disney movies (includes all the princess stories). In fact, my whole obsession in movies are always been judged. I remember a conversation during lunch at my old working place...

    Friend 1: "When's the Batman movie coming out" Me: "Two weeks from now" Friend 1: "When's Spiderman coming out?" Me: "Last week".... The six other people at the table: "You know these exact dates? You are such a nerd!".....

    What was amusing was I worked in Network Security at that time, and everyone at the office were nerds! These are guys who would open a the calendar application in a Windows computer using the Command Prompt and spend the entire day playing World Of Warcraft. Yet, I'm singled out as a nerd. Oh, the irony!

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  38. LOVE THIS POST! YOU TELL THEM! Why does it matter to other people, what someone else is reading? If they have an issue reading YA/MD then they shouldn't read it. Everyone should be able to read whatever they want.

    This post is awesome...YOU'RE AWESOME!

    Lisa
    www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

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  39. My husband playfully teases me about reading YA. I always find it a little ridiculous coming from a non-reader. I'm on a "witch chic lit" kick! Talk about trash reading but a couple of them are really good. I'm reading the Witching Savannah series by J.D. Horn now. I'm really enjoying it! I go through phases with genres. That's what keeps reading fresh and fun!

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  40. I have been just thinking about writing a post like this! But in a different way because yes I still enjpy reading but just hearing hypes makes you want to read a certain book when I want to go back to not knowing hype abd franctically reading the book because a movie is about to come out. No, i want to read when i what because I want to whatever I feel like reading.

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  41. I wouldn't bother reading the post actually. It's not like it will enlighten you or anything. If anything it will make you angry that there is someone out there who thinks they should tell people what to do. It's that type of person who can make teens be someone they aren't when they are older. Should they be embarrassed by reading what they want? Or going to a restaurant to eat alone? Why should we care what others think?

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  42. I think that happens to men and boys a lot. In today's society they aren't supposed to like Disney or play with a doll. I totally understand you about movies too. I am not so much like you, but my husband is. He camps out and knows when all the films are coming out. He made this crazy computer program to keep track of our DVDs. I think it's nuts, but he has a passion and loves it. I tag a long to most of the films.



    We are going to two comic cons this year. The local one and the one in San Diego. People laugh at that.. what nerds to go to those things. One time someone said to me, "is that a place where everyone runs around and fights with lightsabers". I assume they are talking about larping. We should just all embrace each others interests.

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  43. I find that to be true. If you don't like something.. instead of telling others what to do, then just don't read it. There are a few things I don't like. Horror movies for example. I like horror books but not horror movies. So I just don't watch them. Who cares?? Same with blogs. If you don't like what they are doing (too many memes/book tours/ blah blah) then don't follow them. I don't think you need to tell them that you don't like what they post.

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  44. I agree, I too mix up genres which people can probably see on the blog. So many people say that as bloggers we must pick a genre and then people will follow you. I disagreed about this from the start. As far as what people call "trash reading" why not? Sometimes it's the trash reads that really get us out of the world. I love the Stephanie Plum books which I think are on number 22 and I can't wait to read it. It takes me about 3 hours to get through it and I love it.

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  45. This does happen.. like Fault in our Stars. Everyone went hype over that one. I used to go into a book store and read the back of a book and then decide to read it. Now I hear about what everyone else is reading and THEN go and read it. I myself hurry to read a book before a movie comes out. You should go ahead and post about it!

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  46. Most people have passions of their own -- photography, sports, games, etc. Even types of books they read. Okay, some people I've met said they don't have any passion. But to me that's just boring. That's what makes life colorful -- passion!

    That's great you going to those comic cons. The one in San Diego is on my life's bucket list. Hopefully I'll be there soon!

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  47. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! Exactly my thinking. Some YA I like, some I don't, and that's how it should be. Don't mean to be patronising, but is it maybe a case of 'missing inner maturity' if someone says that adults should be ashamed for reading certain things? I remember when I was about 18, I used to be into literature a lot and would really look down at my mum for reading romance (10 pence books). 'How can you read something like that mum?'. Well, once I grew up a bit lol, I started to understand that it doesn't matter what you read (or do as a hobby for that matter) as long as you enjoy it, it brings you happiness etc etc. Now I buy mum her romance books (not necessarily my fav genre, but there you go)

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  48. I feel the same way. Romance novels aren't foe me either. My mom reads them. They are just too fake for me (I am not a romantic). But to her reading about a teenager isn't that great either. I have a lot of interests. Some people make fun of (comic con/movies) I love to go birding (people tell me I have too much time on my hands since I do that). Whatever. I don't know why people sit on these high horses and try to tell the rest of us what is cool and acceptable and what isn't.

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  49. YES! Read what you want, as long as you're reading. That's what counts :)

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  50. And that's the way it should be!

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