So, yesterday Roger famously (or infamously?) began a post about reviews and ended up with "Whatever whoever chooses to read is their business, of course, but adults whose taste in recreational reading ends with the YA novel need to grow up."
Last night when I went to bed there were about 20 comments; now there are 30.
As an adult whose recreational reading includes YA, I want to respond. Yet I found I wanted to say more than is right for a comment. So here goes.
Whatever you say bounces off of me
And sticks to you!
Ha ha ha. Cause I'm not a grown up!
These type of one liners are great to get some comments on a slow day (I personally was going to post "Twilight sucks" just for the comments); or to stir the pot just to stir, if you know what I mean.
Or, they can be dead on serious.
I could take apart the sentence; oh, if my YA reading is not "recreational" but for another reason, I'm still a grown up as defined by RR. Or, if I read other than YA, I'm still a grown up (tho I suspect that if the "other" I read is children's and picture books, I may not be meeting the definition.)
Others have already chimed in with some of my points; that the majority of YA is better edited than adult stuff. I mentally red-pen much more of the adult stuff I read; tho, of course, that is not true of all adult; just as it's not true of all YA. Absolutes, you know -- one really should stay away from them.
Which led me to two conclusions:
Start counting or listing the reasons people read, even under the umbrella of "recreational," and you'd need a book. I think it's impossible to draw an "if x, then y" conclusion about any reading a person does, because the reasons people read and what they get out of it are so varied and complex and personal.
When I think of what makes a person a "grown up", what they read does not even make the top 100. Probably top of my list is the ability to see things in shades of gray, rather than black and white; and to still come to decisions instead of using gray to justify any action or inaction. Followed closely by the realization that my listening to you, and understanding you, does not mean I agree with you.
So I guess my disappointment with Roger's post is not so much whether or not he thinks I'm a grown up -- but, rather, that he makes that statement based on such a small part of who I am as a person; and he makes that statement believing it is always true of everyone. That he begins with reading being a choice, yet ends with slamming the choices people make.
I think, as a librarian and as a person, that I should respect the reader; and respect what they are reading. Sometimes it is helpful to know "why" in order to recommend other books. But for the most part -- read your mysteries, your adventure stories, your graphic novels, even your serious literary works. Read Mary Sue Memoirs if that's your thing.
Heck, if you want -- read Twilight. And I'll still think you're a grown up.