Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Adults reading YA--a big fuss?

There's been a flurry on the Interweb lately about adults reading YA books and shopping for them in the YA section of bookstores. All the cool authors are buzzing about it!

Okay, some cool authors are, and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. haha

Anyway, from what I can glean of the situation, some adults have no problem heading right over to the YA section of a bookstore and browsing/buying a YA book. However, some feel differently--they worry they look creepy/perverted shopping in the YA section, or they're turned off by the YA covers and thus don't care to read the book.

Me? I always, always, always hit the YA section of a bookstore (and the manga/graphic novel section, too). It's like a unholy beacon, if you will, that beckons me to spend money. Haha. And personally, I love YA covers and am not turned off by them at all. I think they're innovative and eye-catching.

For some reason, though, I do feel weird browsing the YA and manga/graphic novel sections of my library. I still do it (duh), but I'm more painfully aware of my adult age in the library than I am in the bookstore...maybe being able to purchase a book makes me more self-confident and less self-conscious.

What about you--if you're an adult, do you feel awkward/weird/turned off in the YA section of your local bookstore or library? Or are you all over it like white on rice?

Or, if you're a teen, does it make you feel weird to see an adult buying YA or manga, or browsing those sections in the library? Or is it no big thing for you?


  1. I love reading YA! And no, I don't feel weird shopping in that section. Some of the best storytelling around is located there.

  2. I've read YA since I actually *was* the target audience through now, when my dd is the target audience, with nary a gap. Robin McKinley was only found in YA, so that's where I went.

    Also, I was in a comic book shop this weekend. I'm a thirty-something SAHM and I was in a comic book shop.

    There's no room for shame in reading.

  3. I have to admit that I *used* to feel weird about browsing in the teen section of the library. I've even gone so far as to put some obviously-for-a-small-child books in there, to make it look like I was making a quick trip to the library to get out books for my niece or whatever.

    But now, I don't care. I wonder if it has to do with the layout of the library. My old library had the YA section right inside the children's section, so it was obvious when you strayed out of the adult section. But my current library has the "teen corner" just a section right in the middle of the adult section. VERY easy to venture over, and I see lots of adults doing it.

    As for the bookstore, I've never felt weird about going in there. Like Rhonda, I wonder if it's the subconscious thing about "buying" versus "borrowing" books. If I'm buying a teen book, it could easily be as a present for someone else, whereas if I'm checking it out of the library, that's likely for me.

    But now I just don't care. If people have a problem with it, screw 'em.

  4. Good attitude, you guys! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I don't really get the BDD. I go where ever I want to buy whatever I want and don't think twice about it. Hm.

    Do kids think it's weird that adults read YA? I mean, mostly adults are writing YA so I can't imagine what the problem would be.

  6. I remember a few years ago, everywhere you looked, 20-to-40-something-year-old women were reading "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" on the Metro. And Harry Potter? Um, hello?

    So I think there are probably more adults willing to venture into the YA section than most people think. But I agree that it's a completely undiscovered world for many, many adult readers.

  7. I love reading YA, too! I don't feel strange shopping in the YA section of bookstores. There is so much great stuff out there. I have always checked out what the YA section had to offer...right now I have kids that age but even before and surely after they have grown...I will still shop there.

  8. Sierra Wolfe10:59 AM

    I read YA books and it doesn't bother me to shop in that section of the bookstore. Of course, I hit just about every section there is, LOL, so it wouldn't be at all odd for me to go there. I even hit the kids books. I think you can learn something from everything you read, no matter what the target audience is. And some of the stuff is really good. Look at Harry Potter, it was written for kids, but how many adults have been swept up in the craze?

  9. It never occurred to me that it might be considered weird.

    Thanks, Rhonda.

  10. Deanna12:46 PM

    I adore reading YA - it's my first stop at the book store... and I'm totally comfortable there. I'm also just as comfortable sitting reading Walter the Farting Dog cross-legged in the kids section... for me, invading the YA section is waaaay at the lower end of all that I'm capable of on the weirdness spectrum...

  11. Great question, Rhonda! I love reading YA since a few great ladies got me hooked on it;)) And now I head right to the YA section without a second thought. I never really considered how it might look, I was just too focused on browsing the shelves to notice I guess. And I'm not in my library very often, sad to say. Just spending money in the stores!!!

  12. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one out there who adores YA. :D

  13. Uhh i guess as i have a "teen" at the end of my age i AM the target audience... i think i get weird looks but that's because most people think i look older (although i still get ID'ed for 18 rated movies weirdly enough) lol.

    I get weird about buying romance books actually.... i *know* it's fine for me to be reading them, have been for 8 years...but i just get squicky looking at them in the stores, like i shouldn't be there lol. i get weird looks when i go to the tils with ones too, so i usually buy them online.

    I'm still on a quest to find diva books on the shelves in my book stores luck yet.

  14. I love seeing ANYONE -- adults or teens -- browsing my YA section in the library. I mean, I do it in other libraries! What totally kills me though, is when the adults just HANG in the YA section WITHOUT looking at the books. They do all their taxes back there on the YA tables and I'm like, go away. Cuz when the teens get out of school and come to the lib, they don't want to hang in the same areas as the adults!

    So look at the books, but don't park there for the long haul. :)