Saturday, August 23, 2014

YA and Adults--Should there be a cut-off age?

 Most of you have seen that article about adults reading YA awhile back and while I did not agree with a lot of the points the author of that article made--it left me wondering. I often wonder as someone in her late twenties, if I should set an age limit on how long I should continue to read YA. It's something I think about often as I'm browsing in the young adult aisles in bookstores alongside girls half my age.

 I get this niggling feeling that at some point my presence in these aisles is going to start to seem strange, and people (friends, family, and passersby) are going to start to wonder why I don't read books for someone my own age, and leave the YA to the YA's. I don't have that issue now but I wonder if as I get older, will it become inevitable?

I personally don't take too kindly to being told I can't do something because of my age. Although there are some things that are just age appropriate. Is YA one of those things? Do you age out?

I for one believe in reading whatever brings you joy whether it be YA, erotica, BDSM, New Adult, Middle Grade--whatever. But is there a cut-off point? Do you say stop at say, 30's, 40's? Is it cool to be an adult fangirl well into your thirties, and even forties? I don't know that I'll tire of reading YA but should I?  

I would love to hear some of your thoughts? Are you an adult YA reader? Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever feel funny browsing in YA aisles? Share. Dish!


  1. It's an interesting and often brought up question isn't it Jazmen? :)
    Well I'm by no means an adult–soon to hit sweet 16–but I think that while, yes, it might be a little weird to see an adult swooning over the latest bestseller in the YA isle, I don't think it should be judged in a 'whoaaa don't you think you're a little too old' kinda way. I mean, so what? If that's what makes some people happy then I hope other's will accept that.
    And I also really hope that teens and young adults who read YA don't judge adults who read YA that way, because that would be truly sad; I mean, one day we'll be adults too!

  2. I think that people should read what they enjoy. Me... I read adult romance novels as an eleven year old, and while my teachers tried to get me to borrow more age appropriate things at the library, they still encouraged that I read what I want.

    I love YA now, and I'll always read it because of the whole me being a teacher thing. I feel like a lot of adults misjudge teens, and reading books from that perspective can really help us understand them.

    Besides, my middle-aged neighbor is always coming to me for YA recommendations. She is the one who actually told me about Divergent, and no one judged her for it. (We were working the stations in a polling place on election day.) Even the older women, like sixties, and seventies were interested! So no... I don't think there should be a cut-off age.

    For me personally, I read a lot of YA, but I mix in the adult fiction that I like. It works for me, and I don't feel so guilty about reading YA.

  3. Honestly, I think it really depends on the person. I feel like there could be a 40 year old reading it and thinking, wow I love this. And then a 20 year old reading it and thinking, the characters are so stupid and immature. I guess if the person is willing to go into it with an open mind, the sky's the limit! :D

  4. There was this an article written recently that was along those lines that if you are an adult you should be ashamed just to read YA..I can't remember who wrote it but I think should read what you enjoy reading. I think it is better to read than not at all, there are great books out there in the YA genre!

  5. I don't judge people on their books, but personally I was relieved when I aged out of the YA category- I was kind of an "old" teen having to deal with adult problems, problems I couldn't find accurately represented in the YA genre (I never found a book about a girl with an undiagnosable illness that wasn't psychiatric). I also got a lot of odd looks when I was browsing YA when I was seventeen or so (I looked a lot older than I was), but it didn't dissuade me from reading them. I think as long as you read widely (different themes and genres) no one should be able to rain on your parade (especially when there's books involved).
    ~Litha Nelle

  6. i'm 22 and I still read YA I just find the storylines so much more interesting and teenagers don't have to worry about jobs and taxes. They're free to explore the world without having to worry about the mundane things in life. I find adult books seem to focus on real life situations, and it's much harder for me to enjoy an adventure novel with adult characters than it is with teenagers. Also, young characters are always up for adventures and accepting strange things where adults usually tend to avoid anything out of the ordinary. I don't think i've hit the mark for being too old to read YA yet, and I also look young for my age so I don't look out of place in the YA section but I can't see my tastes changing any time soon and I think i'll still be reading YA books in years to come

  7. I am 28, and I read YA, I also read New Adult and Adult books. The issue I face is, there aren't many adult books out there in the genre of Fantasy/Paranormal/sci-fi-romance that I enjoy. And I get that in YA. In my opinion new adult and adult books focus too much on the sex part of romance, which can and often does take away from what I think the real plot of the book should be. I don't have issues with reading sexy-time scenes in books, I just want there to be more plot. The book starts to become less about solving an issue, or facing a foe and more about how many times the love interests can get into each others pants in the 200-400 pages we're given.

  8. I might be the oldest person weighing in here, I'm 39, but I enjoy reading some YA books in between others. I discovered AudioSYNC this summer which led me to several titles I might otherwise have overlooked but instead, thoroughly enjoyed. In many cases, YA books are no younger inside the covers than those considered 'adult'. The only difference is the publisher's marketing because teens are seen as a particularly lucrative market. I don't really understand why anyone should consider than they are limited to just one genre or age range - didn't happen in my day! If I like the look of a cover/synopsis/review, then I try the book.

  9. I agree with Stephanie, I think a lot of what is "YA" is just marketing, to a certain extent. I think people should read whatever they want to read and not worry about it. I read mostly YA and I'm an adult and I just don't care. When I was 10 I was reading "adult" books and there was a time in my twenties when I read mostly legal thrillers and then also "literary" book club type books. I tend to read in phases, but I feel like I read all different types of books now and it just depends on what mood I'm in. ~Pam

  10. I feel like people should be able to read whatever they feel like, at 23 it doesn't bother me that I love YA. I don't feel embarrassed browsing in the YA section, but maybe that will change when I am in my 40s. But then... people will just think your browsing for a gift for someone much cooler and younger than you ;)

    I don't think I will ever stop reading YA. I love adult fiction too, but I know that YA is something I will enjoy reading no matter how old I get. It's the same with books like Harry Potter, I'm not going to stop reading them just because I get older. They are all written by adults so if an adult can write it then an adult can read it., haha! :)

  11. I totally have the same feelings as you! I'm in my twenties and whenever I go to the bookstore, I head straight to the YA section first. There are all these teenagers and I feel very self-conscious standing in the young adult section with them. Even though I can't help but feel weird, I think we should be allowed to read whatever we want. Everyone has their own preferences and just because it's not targeted for you, doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. People will always try to judge but I try not to let it affect me too much. My family doesn't think any differently which I'm very grateful for :)

  12. I have always found the idea of assigning age groups to books a little silly. To me it seems like another reason for people to look down on others, honestly.

    Right now I'm right on the edge of the YA age group (I'm eighteen), but I don't feel like one day I'm going to stop reading about young adults. And I think that's what YA is, basically. It's the only real difference from "adult" books.

    I think it's important to see different perspectives, and that's what reading is about. It's okay for an adult to read about someone in their teens, just like it's okay (and a lot less looked down upon) for teens to read books about adults.

    There's always a point where it gets difficult to relate to the characters, but in the end a good book is a good book. I don't think it should matter who it's about or is supposedly written for.