Friday, December 31, 2010

Young Adult Books: Are they popular because they are easy to read?

Some young adult books are popular among adults. I have previously posted about this topic here and here. Now I would like to discuss another aspect of this popularity.

Books for adults are usually longer than young adult books, with more difficult language and more complicated plots and character development. Perhaps adults are simply not willing to do the harder work of reading adult books. I think this might be a big part of the attraction, and that troubles me. Our minds and our hearts can be enriched so much by reading the challenging books. Classics that have endured for decades or centuries deserve our consideration for what they contribute to the great conversation of literature. But these books tend to be more challenging reading. If collectively we can not even bring ourselves to read adult books currently written, how will we learn from the wisdom of the past?

I think adults that are spending most of their reading time focusing on young adult books would benefit from doing some introspection about why they are focusing their attention there. I have times when I find that I am spending too much time reading young adult or children's book, and I have benefited from seeking more balance. Even youth can benefit from the challenge of reading some of the books written for an adult audience.

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