Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stop telling people what to read!

Fair warning, this blog is going to be a rant!

I really don't understand why people keep getting up on their high horse to tell people what they should or should not read. First it was with that recent Slate article telling adults that they should be ashamed for reading YA fiction. I had a lot of thoughts about that one, but none that I felt were appropriate to post, so I held my tongue. But then I heard about "The Percy Jackson Problem" and I can't hold my tongue.

My first reaction to both of these articles is, "Why the hell do you care what other people read?" No seriously, how does it affect your life if an adult wants to read YA fiction, or if a child wants to read books that reimagine the ancient myths? Why do you have to butt yourself in and try to make people feel shame for reading what they love? That is why these articles piss me off so much. 

Who cares if a kid isn't reading the classics? Maybe they just really like epic adventure series like the ones that Rick Riordan writes. I hate this idea of shaming people about reading what they love, whether that be reading YA, romance novels, comics etc. I don't like the idea of you telling someone that they shouldn't read a certain genre because you think it's beneath you. I feel like when you are shaming a person for something they love especially when it comes to books, then you will drive that person away from the love of reading. With kids, this is especially true.

The basic argument in this new essay is saying that Riordan's work could potentially lead kids away from reading classics, and towards books like The Percy Jackson series. Um..why do you care? And why is that exactly a problem? If it's enticing kids to continue to read books that they love, I don't think that's a problem at all. With all the technology driving kids away from the written word, why would you want to tell them the books they love are the wrong books to read? 

All these debates in the literature community have started to really annoy me, and I think we need to stop telling everyone what they can and can not read. No two people will read the same book, so I think it's really unfair to say a certain group of people should not read a certain genre or series. 

Where do you stand on the "Percy Jackson Problem" and the debate that adults shouldn't read YA fiction? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reads Everyone!