Week 13 Prompt

I am a huge reader of YA, simply because I love it. (I'm a kid's lead at Barnes & Noble, so keeping up with middle grade and YA is part of my job--but I'd do it anyway!) I get really defensive when people start to disparage YA--especially when it's aimed at adults who read it. Because, as adults, most of the reading we're doing is leisure reading, why should every book we pick up be a work of literary fiction or a classic? Just because a book is written for teenagers doesn't inherently make it inferior. Can't we all agree a book like The Giving Tree is exceptional work? Yet was it written for adults? Nope! Does that mean I'm not allowed to read The Giving Tree ever again, just because it wasn't written for an adult?

I think there are lots of ways to help adults in their interest in YA, but I think encouragement is huge. I know in my own job I try to be aware of when adults are looking at or buying YA and find out why they're doing so. If it's for them, I make sure to have an encouraging word of some time, whether that's an offer of some recommendations or just commenting on what they've picked out. Especially as a librarian, but certainly in my own job too, people see you as an authority, and if they have your approval, they're going to be more comfortable picking up something they may be iffy on.

When it comes to graphic novels, I'm a super newbie. I always thought they weren't for me, but I picked up the first volume of Saga one day and fell in love. If others are like me, they conflate graphic novels and comics as all being about superheroes--and that's far from the case. I love really immersive fantasy, and Saga hit that button exactly. It's the kind of story I'd love as a novel or a movie, but it's illustrated beautifully on the page for me! What's especially fascinating to me about graphic novel readers is that so many know their stuff, way more so than any other readers I see. Because these readers are so immersed in their interests, they're a hugely loyal following that a library could miss out on without a strong graphic novel collection. I know I was disappointed in my own local branch when I visited looking for graphic novels, which doesn't encourage those interested to revisit in the future.

Personally, no matter what you're reading, you shouldn't be ashamed--and should be encouraged!


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