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20 October 2014 @ 10:59 am
Read. Just Read. Don't Apologize. Just Read.  
I loved this post about reading: http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/10/read-whatever-hell-you-want-why-we-need-new-way-talking-about-young-adult-literature. Too many articles in the past year have excoriated adults for reading books written to younger audiences. As someone who makes her living talking about children's and YA books, I have never felt the need to apologize for reading books not written specifically for me. As a matter of fact, there is a long history of lots of people reading books not written for them. Go back to the early folk and fairy takes. Many of them were told for the entertainment of adults; the content was a tad, well, adult. That did not stop kids from adopting the stories and making them their own.

I read mostly children's and YA books, pausing occasionally for an adult book that piques my interest. I read Roz Chast's GN when I saw it on the longlist for the NBA. I read Stephen King still (love, love, love his books). From time to time someone will recommend a book to me. However, when I see posts about a book someone has slogged through, I think, "life is too short to read books which require slogging." I read the canon, big chunks of it, as a teen and during my college studies. I have no desire to revisit most of those stories. Been there, read that. But a stack of picture books makes me salivate. I always have a stack on my desk at work. I can grab a few minutes and read one throughout the day. It breaks up the work, and generally it makes me grin or weep or shudder--RESPOND.

So, I agree with the sentiment of the article: let's permit folks to read what they want. The same goes for kids, too. CHOICE is so important. Selecting the books for my TBR, choosing books to pick up and read, electing which audio will accompany this week as I commute: this is what keeps me an avid reader. It keeps me connected to language and style and art. It keeps me reading.
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