Adults who read YA - Bookish Discussion

Adults who read  YA

So, technically speaking I am an adult. I mean I'm in my late 20's, I'm married, I have a Bachelor's degree, I almost have a Master's degree, I am a high school teacher, I have two cats and a dog. But just because I have all of the qualifications of an adult does not mean I have to read books written for adults.

I choose to read YA, particularly fiction and fantasy. It's what I know and love. Let's be honest, I have a skill. I can walk around a book store, look at covers, and read summaries; and will be able to find at least one book that I know I will enjoy. So what if the main character is ten (or sometimes more) years younger than me and the world is one that was conceived inside the author's head?

I've seen a few articles and blog posts questioning why adults read YA and whether it is a problem. As an adult who loves YA I felt compelled to talk about it. So here are the reasons why I read YA:

  1. It provides an opportunity to escape. By reading fiction and fantasy, the worlds allow me to escape my world, which is full of responsibilities. I can tune out all of my real world stuff and relax while I read.
  2. I feel a connected to the characters. I know that seems strange, but it wasn't too long ago that I was a teenager. Plus, as a high school teacher, I also think that these characters also help me understand my students. As an "adult" I can read about the events and growing pains that YA characters go through and sympathize and reminisce.
  3. I rarely find adult books that draw me in. Usually, I find that adult books are way to romance driven or just boring. Like I said, my skill involves finding the right YA books, so maybe I just can't find the right adult books.
  4. I enjoy it! This is probably the most important. I read because I enjoy reading, so I read what I know I like.
What is all boils down to is we all read because we enjoy reading, it's a hobby. Are the people who are passing judgment on adults because we read YA also passing judgement on young people who knit? I hope not. I say, read what you enjoy because there is certainly not enough time to read books that you don't like.

What genre do you read and why?

Graham, Ruth. "Against YA." Slate. 8 July 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.<>.
Howlett, Georgina. "Why Are so Many Adults Reading YA and Teen Fiction?" The Guardian. 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <>.
Pratt, Non. "Why Adults Shouldn't Be Embarrassed to Read Children's Books." The Guardian. 10 June 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <>
Wolitzer, Meg. "Look Homeward, Reader: A Not-So-Young Audience for Young Adult Books."The New York Times. 17 Oct. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <>.


  1. Yes I agree! I sometimes feel judged for reading YA even though I am in my early 20s! I really think people are categorizing YA into two groups, either books like TFIOS or the Hunger Games. But honestly, I think YA is mostly depicted as similar to TFIOS, when that is NOT TRUE AT ALL. People need to realize that there is diversity in all book genres, and we, as adults, are allowed to read whatever we enjoy.

    Awesome discussion Emily!

  2. What a great post, Emily! I completely agree with everything you've said. I work in a small town library as the YA librarian and since I've started I've actually convinced several older patrons to check out some YA books. Most of them have LOVED them and now come in, look for me, and ask that I give them more recommendations. But I have a few that say to me, "That book was pretty good for a teen book" or "I didn't like that. It was about teenagers." I just want to scream, "WEREN'T YOU A TEENAGER AT ONE TIME?!" I don't think there should be distinctions between young adult and adult when talking about books. (It's sometimes okay for marketing but not in general discussion, like when the patron said "for a teen book"). It's a BOOK. Why look down on someone for reading? No matter what it is! If they enjoy it, let them enjoy it.

    Sorry for the rant. Haha.
    Stefani @ Caught Read Handed

    1. Thank you! I love that you've gotten people to read YA!

  3. I'm still in highschool so I read YA, but I also read a ton of MG, which is usually for kids much younger than me. Even though some MG books can be kind of shallow and cliche, I have found great ones, and I love the voice and whimsicality that often comes through in MG books. They're so imaginative and I love that. However, YA is an awesome choice, too, although I'm not always a fan of the mature content often included. I feel like I'll be that adult that reads YA books because adult books just don't seem to be interesting to me at all. And of course as an adult I'll probably be reading even more classics.

  4. This post! I love all of your points. They're all so valid and ring true for me, too. I can count on one hand the amount of adult books that I really enjoy. Maybe my tastes aren't refined or whatever, but I just enjoy YA! The escapism that it offers is amazing. I live an adult life with adult worries and responsibilities. It's fun to escape those with a YA book!


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