HW Assignment: “Illegitimate” Literature (Prompt #7)

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Unfortunately, a lot of adult readers don’t consider Young Adult, New Adult, or Graphic Novels to be legitimate literature. As many of my frequent readers know (and have read) I have quite an issue with people who don’t think that adults should be reading Young Adult books, but I also feel that way about the other two categories as well. Ignoring the fact that nobody should be judging what anyone else chooses to read, I honestly feel like they’re just straight wrong. People who believe that those who are classified as “adults” should not be reading books for “children” do not take into account that people read for a variety of reasons. There is definitely more than one reason to read and there are multiple ways to read as well. Young Adult, New Adult, and Graphic Novels all have their merits just like any other category of book.

Now that we’ve established that YA, NA, and Graphic Novels are legitimate literary choices, I think it’s important for librarians to promote them actively to adults. First, it would be great to get rid of the stigma that surrounds these types of books. Secondly, I am convinced that there are many adults out there who would like these books if they only gave them the chance. I think one great way to do this is to take YA, NA, and Graphic Novel choices outside of their respective sections of the library. Librarians could try to create displays that incorporate YA, NA, and Graphic Novels with adult fiction and non-fiction. This way, an adult who doesn’t normally wander over to the teen section of the library may see something that catches their eye. This also enables those who would like to check out the teen section (but are too embarrassed to) to peruse some popular teen titles without it being obvious to the rest of the library.


16 thoughts on “HW Assignment: “Illegitimate” Literature (Prompt #7)

  1. I get where you’re coming from on combining, but I actually like them separated at the library. It’s easier to find what I’m looking for (any genre) that way. I wish my local bookstore and library actually had a NA section. I would be all over that! Right now, they’re mixed in with the regular adult fiction — if they even have them.
    I do hate the judgement of readers, though. I read a ton of romance, which is judged a lot. Even my own BFF is guilty and she always enjoys the books I recommend.

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  2. I agree with what you are saying. I tend to read more YA than my friends/family and sometimes I feel a bit self-conscious, but then i remind myself that i love reading and it should be fun 🙂
    I posted a review on The Selection recently so you can tell I love my YA!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can entirely relate to this. Through university (a literature degree) I was constantly judged for liking YA novels, they seemed to have a particular problem with YA fantasy. In my opinion, we shouldn’t care what other people enjoy! We – as apparent literature lovers – should be interested in and understand that other people enjoy other types of literature!

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  4. I TOTALLY agree with you. I hadn’t appreciated that hating on YA was even a thing until I went to university and suddenly everyone considered themselves ‘too good’ for it. Honestly I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that much of it is marketed toward teenage girls. We have this weird cultural agreement that if young girls like it, then it must be garbage. It’s too annoying.

    I actually feel even more connected with YA than ever, now that I’m in my twenties. Admittedly, I am more picky than I used to be and I have a greater awareness of certain problematic tropes, particularly so far as unhealthy relationships are concerned, but overall I still relate to the books a ton.So many of these books are about adventures and personal growth and those are things that you experience for pretty much your whole life (at least I hope so!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am 100% with you! Sometimes I’ll really think about the characters I’m reading about and think “wow, these characters are really young” but if I ignore the fact that they’re in high school, they pretty much still sound like all of the 20-somethings I know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your idea of combining YA/NA/GN with adult displays in the library. This eliminates the stigma and embarrassment for patrons if these collections are housed elsewhere in the library (teen section, for example). This type of passive RA could potentially open up a whole new world of genre discovery for adults. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m reminded of the Lewis quote: “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

    I think it’s hard when people only hear about ridiculous or overwrought things through the media, and then that colors their perception of all books even semi-related to that. There are lots of things to discover, and reading things as an adult gives you a different perspective than a teen, which can be a valuable experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also mentioned having displays that include YA, NA, adult fiction, graphic novels…many different genres together! I think focusing on books with similar appeals would not only make adult readers of YA and similar genres feel more comfortable browsing those collections in the library, but it would also attract adult readers who have kept themselves from reading those genres because of a stigma. I think it would be encouraging for exploration!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really agree with you on this. Honestly, I think you should read what feels good. I explained in my response to this that one of the libraries here actually has the teen section completely separated by a big glass cube. The librarians in there are like Hitler and if you do not know exactly which title you want to check out, they will not allow you to just browse. I think that is ridiculous! So most of the time when I want to read a YA book, I just buy it on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so bizarre! And I completely agree about reading what feels good. Everyone reads for different reasons and gets different things out of it, nobody should be telling anyone else what they should and shouldn’t read!


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