Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Thoughts || Bookish Shame

Hey there! Welcome to another edition of Thursday Thoughts! This is an original, interactive, weekly meme here on my blog. Everyone with an opinion is invited to make a post, link up and join the conversation. Sidenote: I've done this once before, but I quickly want to ask for your help again. I'm starting to run low on Thursday Thoughts topics again, so if you have any ideas PLEASE don't hesitate to send them to me. You can email me, tweet me @okletsread, or whatever other form of communication works best for you. Thanks so much! If it weren't for your guys and your amazing contributions, Thursday Thoughts wouldn't be as awesome as it is. Thank you so so much! Now back to your regularly scheduled Thursday Thoughts post. This week's topic is "Bookish Shame" which is just my really general title for any sort of shaming or embarrassment that's brought about in the bookish world. This has the potential to become a serious conversation, so keep that in mind.

Recently there was "drama" brought about by some articles that were relating to the whole idea of adults reading YA as being a bad or "embarrassing" thing. The main article that seemed to ruffle feathers was "Against YA: Adults should be embarrassed to read children's books." which was posted on Slate.com by Ruth Graham. I want to point out that almost everything I say in this post will be a little biased since I strongly disagree with almost everything Graham said in this article. She more of less states that she feels that reading YA once you're grown out of that age group is deterring actual young adults from aiming to achieve the "satisfaction" that comes with reading adult books, is a waste of time and brain power and that if you're an adult who reads YA you should be embarrassed. I disagree with ALL of these things. Reading is reading. Graham makes a statement in her article that reads "I know, I know: Live and let read. Far be it from me to disrupt the “everyone should just read/watch/listen to whatever they like” ethos of our era." The way she even had the guts to point that out and then brush it off as if it were irrelevant really irked me. If people are reading, let them be happy! Reading is a good thing regardless of if you "belong" in that reading level genre or not.

Now that I've rambled on enough about that, I'm going to move on to the next two sections of today's prompt. What reading level genres do I read personally? Well, as you can see above, I'm VERY open and totally okay with reading all sorts of different levels. In fact, I enjoy seeing all the different perspectives on life! I do read a lot of YA, that's definitely the obvious one. I made a little pie chart to really show you how my reading is split up. I graphed my reads of 2014 this into five different sections; middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult and graphic novels. Graphic novels would have been mixed in, but I'm really not sure what group they fall into. Plus, I read some graphic novels that are meant for, for example, middle grade, so I included those in the graphic novel section. As you can see, I read a lot of YA and GNs. Why? BECAUSE IT'S WHAT I ENJOY. Put together, Graphic Novels and YA Novels account for 82.5% of the books I've read in 2014 and I can bet that little miss Ruth Graham would have a huge problem with that. But, even as a 19-year-old female, I'm completely okay with what I read. I read what I like and there's not much more than that to it. I couldn't care less what people think about my reading tastes because they're MY reading tastes for a reason.

The final chunk of this week's topic touches on the prejudice that's been cropping up against New Adult fiction. I've heard people describe this genre as "YA with sex" or "romance novels for a younger crowd." Those things are simply not true. It's SUCH A shame that the minority of New Adult novels that do feature overly frequent, unbelievable sex scenes have given a bad rap to the entire New Adult genre. To me, New Adult is just that, books geared towards new adults for new adults. In case you were curious, new adult is generally the age of "college kids" which is somewhere around 18-25 (in my opinion.) Now, that's not to say that New Adult doesn't contain sex. OBVIOUSLY it's new adult so it's going to have content that actual new adults partake in and can relate to. If you feel like new adult novels are often mostly romance driven, that's because they are. Most new adults are experimenting in college and testing out that whole new section of their lives. That's just how it is. I wish that there weren't such a bad connotation with the genre because it really does have a lot to offer. I think there are plenty of people who could enjoy New Adult if they would just give it a shot! Speaking of new adults and shots, here's the "Thursday Thoughts || Bookish Shame" drinking game; drink every time I type "new adult." Hahaha. Clearly I'm tired and rambling so I think I'm going to try and wrap things up.

Here are my final thoughts; No one genre is made to fit only that age group or it's "target audience." If that were the case, girls never would have started reading comics as they were originally only geared towards young males. New Adult isn't just scandalous nonsense. And my biggest point of all is to READ WHATEVER YOU WANT because I can guarantee you will be much happier that way. I hope you guys enjoyed this week's Thursday Thoughts. Don't hesitate to give me your opinions in the comments! I would love to hear what you have to say. Also, please don't forget to let me know if you have any ideas for future Thursday Thoughts topics of conversation. Join us next week for a discussion on "Read-A-Thons!" Thanks for stopping by!



5 comments:

  1. Hi, Ashley,
    Thanks for hosting this meme - I love this week's topic. I can't believe you actually made a pie chart for it :) So cool!
    I agree that reading should definitely be a pleasurable activity and that everyone should just mind their own business - harsh, perhaps, but I'm SO TIRED of explaining my reading choices to people ...
    I love the book blogging community exactly for this reason!

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  2. Great question this week and I really liked how much it got me thinking! I do think that NA gets a bad rep at times, and it's not really justified. I have had bad experiences with some NA but I realise it's just those particular books and not the genre as a whole.

    I think people should be able to read what they want and I definitely don't think teens are put off reading YA just because adults are. It's definitely not been my experience when I have seen parents and teens come into the library together to get the same book.

    Great topic and thanks for hosting :) Here's my answer.

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  3. I hated that Ruth Graham article, too. I read it more like "I don't get the appeal, so y'all must be stupid and I'm going to write an article to make you feel that way". Blah at people like that!

    My thoughts.

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  4. Great topic this week! One reason I believe adults should read YA is to open conversations with young adults.

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  5. Shaming is just wrong. Reading is reading, regardless of what people read. It is a fun hobby and a brainy hobby at that. So no more shaming, let's just enjoy reading :)

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Thanks for commenting! I love hearing what you have to say!