In which we don’t give credence to misinformed haters

A recent article bemoaning the trend of adults reading YA fiction stirred up the usual firestorm on Twitter the other day. And the truth is I’m starting to not care. There seems to be an article about this every year or so that gets undue amounts of attention because all of us YA lovers grab our pitchforks and run en masse into the woods after the author and the publication. I’m not suggesting that these attacks don’t merit a response – because they do. But I’m also not convinced we should get so riled up about it.

I recall an article a couple years ago in which the writer claimed that all adults should be ashamed to be seen reading The Hunger Games, especially men. I won’t even address that last part, because it deserves its own post (or seven). But I will say the idea that someone should be ashamed to be reading anything is preposterous. If you’re reading, you’re expanding your mind, end of story. I don’t care if what you’re reading was written by a five-year-old. You’re at least learning something about the way five-year-olds think.

But what really amazed me about this article, and most of the others on this topic, is that the author admits he has never read The Hunger Games, and doesn’t plan to, until he has read every other “literary” adult book ever written (i.e. never gonna happen). This is akin to me saying that Vancouver is the worst city on the planet, and also, I’ve never been to Vancouver. It’s idiotic, and you shouldn’t take me seriously. So I didn’t take that guy seriously, because he had no idea what he was talking about. He just had an opinion, like all other seven billion people on the planet, but unlike everyone else, he had a publication willing to put it in print.

So let’s write articles about how awesome YA lit is, and have discussions about why we, as adults, gobble it up. But let’s not be personally offended when year after year, someone says something stupid.

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