Monday, June 28, 2010

Read what makes YOU happy!

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel embarrassed or ashamed of your book tastes. Or any tastes, for that matter.

Just recently, I received a phone call from a cousin, a high school senior, who was humiliated by the majority of the members of her book club when she listed the Twilight and Vlad Tod series among some of her favorite books. According to her, they laughed and mocked her preference of the young adult vampire books when a large number of them were reading Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks.

This completely disgusts me. You can make fun of Twilight or Vlad Tod because you think they‘re ridiculous, sure, that’s your decision. But when you start putting down other people because they don’t, that’s when you turn into what I like to call an asshat.

It’s just like when somebody walks into the room and sees that I’m watching Spongebob. Let the nasty looks commence! I love cartoons. I watch them more than real, live shows. And I’m twenty years old. So what? That’s my preference. That’s what I like to watch. Why should it matter to anybody else when it makes me happy?

It’s the same with reading. I’m twenty years old, but the only section you’ll catch me in at the bookstore is Teens/Young Adult. And I know readers well into their forties that are the same way. We’re the readers, we’re reading for our enjoyment, nobody else. If you want to read a mature, sophisticated novel with adult characters and adult problems, good for you. But that doesn’t make you better than any of us who read about vampires, werewolves, angels, faeries, all of those paranormal creatures and good ol’ fashion teenage angst.

Point of the rant? Like what you like and don’t allow anybody to convince you that you‘re wrong or stupid for it. Anybody who tries to drag you down for the things that make you happy is extremely ridiculous and immature as they’re trying to make you feel.

And really? Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks? Yawn. YA is the shiznit.

28 comments:

  1. Was this book club, by any chance, made up of judgmental teenagers? In any case, they're certainly not acting very mature.

    YA is not just for YA. I'm well into my 30s, and I still read lots of it.

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  2. Well said!! Great post. I'm saying this from a 32 yr old who reads everything from kid books w/ my kids to YA books and more. I think it's important to read what makes you happy and what interests you.

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  3. Yup! I'm almost 25 and read primarily YA and UF, get crap for it too from RL friends and family, but don't care!

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  4. I'm 20 as well and I agree. Though I do read some adult books and classics, my favorite go-to category is definitely YA/teen. I hate it when people put you down for what you read. Especially when they don't read much themselves! You're so right. Read what makes you happy. Otherwise, reading turns into just another chore.

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  5. When I was in junior high, my English lit teacher constantly made fun of the books I read. Never mind that I actually read for enjoyment, and that I read books for adults. Because I read sci-fi and fantasy novels, I was wasting my time, according to her. Still makes me mad, and it was years ago.

    Reading for enjoyment is supposed to be FUN. It's too bad so many people have forgotten that.

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  6. YA is for everybody. I'm glad to have a supportive YA book-blooging community to go to, to see other people who aren't worried that reading supernatural fiction or books aimed at teens is anything out of the ordinary.

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  7. I'm 23 and I read YA!! I even have to put up with a judgmental bookstore clerk! He always makes fun of the books I buy, but I think he still lives in his Mom's basement so I don't take it too personally ;)
    Seriously though, I used to have a little complex about reading YA but then I discovered all the YA Book blogs(and started my own)and it made me feel much better. I read for fun, therefore I read what I want!

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  8. I bet most of them just said Stephen King to look smart since most of his books are long and he is a popular author. They have probably only watched the movies that are based on his books. HAHA I'm surprised none said Jane Austen.

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  9. That's absolutely horrible for your cousin. Reading is always, always about enjoyment, and you should read what makes you happy. I hope she knows that the whole thing reflects badly on those book club members, not on her.

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  10. Go Katie! :D People like that make me so mad! No one should have to defend their preference for books, television, OR anything. We all have the right to our opinions and preferences!

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  11. How can someone make fun of Twilight when they read Nicholas Sparks?!? Hm. Good post -- I'm always in the teen section, too, and lately I'm on a chick lit kick, and I'm proud of it :)

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  12. When I was in 5th grade I went to Barnes and Nobles to get a book. My mom was looking in her section and I went to get the second Little Women book. Well one of the employees saw me and asked if I needed help. I told her what I wanted and she freaked out. Saying that she was an english teacher and a little girl like me could POSSIBLE already read Little Women. She was so mean to me that I stop reading for awhile.

    It wasn't until 7th grade that I actually started to read books for fun again. Thats when I discovered the YA section. Now I just ignore comments I get about my books. What I read is for my entertainment not there's, so why should I care?

    People can be so mean. (plus YA books are 10 times better then adult books)

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  13. Agreed!!! I'm 25 years old, I watch tons of cartoons, I devour YA novels (with vampires and werewolves) and still think some of the kids toys are way cooler than my own. So? I'm still an adult, just an adult with good taste who is't afraid to be who I am.

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  14. This is a great post. I completely agree - I have cousins who read YA who're like, in their thirties, and they're not ashamed of it. And you know, if they don't care what genre they read, why the hell should someone else?

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  15. AMEN!

    Couldn't agree with you more here. Cheers to our freedom and happiness!

    <3

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  16. Totally agree!!! I use to always feel embarrassed about what I read at school or on the bus because I was afraid of the reaction but now I don't care because I know there are other people in the world reading it besides me.

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  17. I totally agree!! Awesome post!! People make fun of me for reading historical romance, but they need to get over it!!

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  18. Thanks for all the positive comments, everyone! I'll be sure to direct my cousin over here for some awesome encouragement! :D

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  19. Teens are only reading Nicholas Sparks because Miley Cyrus was in that movie. And lets fact it, Sparks isn't exactly literary gold either. Teens with their intentional meanness kind of suck sometimes.

    I'm 30 and I read about 50% YA. I love Stephen King and read him a lot in high school, but mostly because I didn't know anything about the other books out there. I read him because he was well known and it was horror, which was cool. Plus, 15 years ago YA wasn't as awesome as it is now.

    I hate when people put others down because of what they read. The fact is no matter the genre or age group, reading is an excellent hobby to have.

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  20. It's not like the works by King or Sparks have this huge literary value, anyway. Sparks writes heart-wrenching love stories which often ends up badly. And King totally scares me to death.

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  21. Well said love. I do love your rants... They are bloody brilliant. I'm 26 and I LOVE Twilight/Harry Potter/Faerys/Dragons, anything fantasy with a bit of romance and my friends all think i'm a bit strange for it but i just ignore them and carry on as I am...!

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  22. Ha! I don't really have that problem because most of the people I know wont read unless their forced. ;-)

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  23. Well said! :) I'm now 30 (ugh!) and recently I've got right back in YA books. In my opinion YA books have to be written very well as the audience they are aimed at (and no disrespect to teenagers) are easily distracted, and so the YA books have to capture your attention and run with it. Am I right?

    I've read one or two books that I hadn't even realised were YA books until I took a good luck at the page just inside the front cover.

    I say read what you like and ignore everyone else... It's them who are missing out on good books if they won't pick them up simply because they're aimed at teenagers/young adults!

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  24. I'm 37, and when I got my master's degree in library science, one of my classes even had a discussion about really how much better YA books are than most adult books. And while I love Stephen King old school, It is one of my favorite books ever, I can't stand Nicholas Sparks, but I would never put someone down for what they read. To me it is so important to read, it is like breathing for me, that I love to see others read, and as a teacher, I love anything like Twilight that makes kids read. And the great thing is that after they get hooked on Twilight, they go out looking for more books. And that is so great. This post is so much how I've felt about even some of my best friends on Facebook, English teachers at that, criticizing Twilight and the people who liked it. I figure there are so many things I don't like, but I don't want everyone to like what I do, we need people and all their differences for life to be interesting. I'm so glad I found your blog to read!!

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