Get Back In Your Box. Get! Get! Get!

Wonka lays down the smackI had to double check the source of this article when I read it. Ruth Graham suggests that we, as adults, should be embarrassed to read YA fiction. Yes, it’s normally reasonable The Slate, not salon.com which will fight to the death its right to condescend to you over the most trivial offenses.

Ms. Graham’s premise is this: Those books aren’t written for you (unless you’re 12-17). You can’t relate.

Uh-huh. Well, here we are, ten years after JK Rowling killed her last wizard, and many readers who were adults when the original books were out are demanding more. They don’t see it as a supernatural version of Degrassi Junior High. The see it for what it is: An epic along the lines of Game of Thrones.

I suppose I should let sleeping dogs lie, but this article really incenses me. It’s entire premise is “Don’t read certain things. They’re not fashionable.”

Ladies and gentlemen, screw fashion. Fashion is for shallow pinheads who want their worlds all orderly and categorized. Really? Hey, sweetie, I’m a college senior pushing fifty. Categorize that. And if you categorize it as pathetic, I am legally entitled to be extremely rude to you.

It seems like every we turn around, someone is offended by someone else’s stubborn refusal to conform. I’m trying to find an upside to this idea. There isn’t one.

We want people to read more. Ms. Graham, acting more like a teen than teens who read YA, wants us all to stay in our little cliques. Guess I’m supposed to go read some manly stories.

Ms. Graham suggests that it’s embarrassing for adults to read something like The Hunger Games or Divergent. May I humbly suggest we ought to be more embarrassed by the hate-filled political screeds we read under the guise of “nonfiction”? Or what about the irritating and self-important need for literary writers to complain that no one wants to read their highly stylized, long-winded doorstops about…  Well, let’s see, I made it through 11 pages of The Corrections before throwing it across the room, and yet Jonathan Franzen still insists he’s a really important writer and whines that people are reading the wrong books.

Let me be blunt here. If you have to tell everyone else what is “proper” to read, you’re irrelevant.

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