I've been reading YA, Romance novels, and just general fiction for a long time. It's always been my favorite genre. I love everything about the genre. From the fact that it takes me out of the craaptastic world, I was living in and took me into another world.
To the romance that is crafted so beautifully. These stories always have me swooning and believing that even weirdos like me can find love.
All that being said as soon as someone asks me what types of books I read I immediately panic. My mind goes blank and I kind of stutter trying to find a way to not tell them that I'm into romance novels or YA novels of any kind.
Seriously I have struggled with telling people that I read YA and romance novels and feel so embarrassed about saying so. And this is despite the fact that I have a blog and have been to conventions with people celebrating these very books that I love so much. I mean I love these books. I own over 600 hardcopy books and over 2,000 forms of digital books (e-books, ARC's, BETA's, etc.) All in generally the same genre.
Yet every I'm asked about my books I have that hesitation in telling people what I read and have since I started college at 18.
I think this started in college when I became an English minor. A lot of people in those classes had very little respect for many books outside of non-fiction or the classics. Most of which I also have read but wouldn't say they're even in my top 100 books I enjoy. Yes, I'm talking about you Pride and Prejudice. Gag.
Then there are the articles and looks I get when I do actually tell people what books I like. If you haven't heard about the articles these are some of the ones my own family has sent me or I've seen on different sites:
Against YA Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.
Why Are Adults Reading YA Books?: While this one isn't against adults reading YA per se, I wouldn't say the author is in full support of it either.
So where does this leave me? Well, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 26 going on 27-year-old, biracial School Psychologist who married her high school sweetheart who owns a house and two dogs. I've been reading since early elementary school and I read about 300 books a year. I've been running my blog for a little over 7 years now.
Despite all this, it hasn't really been until this year that I've been open and honest about my reading preferences. Yeah, no lie. I'm not embarrassed by the books I read, but more by people's reactions to my reading. I hate the disapproving looks and the judgment.
YA and Romance novels have brought so many different feelings and experiences to my world that I never expected. I couldn't feel happier to have fallen in love with such an amazing genre of books.
So, where does that leave me? Well, I think that everyone deserves to love the books they love without shame. I'm not sure how to stop the YA shaming, but I think it does start with me being more open and honest about the books I love and why I love them.
I also think that articles like these: Is it acceptable for adults to read YA fiction? and Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature Over half of today’s YA readers are over the age of 18. are great ways of bringing awareness to the Muggle population about who all is reading these amazing books. That it's okay for an almost 27-year-old to read Teen Paranormal Romance.
So to all of you, book lovers out there here is a note that has definitely brought me a lot of joy in seeing from people on the internet.
Now it's discussion time:
Have you ever felt embarrassed when you tell people about the books you like?
What are your responses to people who say that YA is for kids and romance novels are just trashy bodice rippers?