Booking Through Thursday: Age-Appropriate

Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?

Absolutely! Age is just an arbitrary number. (And yes, I realize I say this as I’m over the moon that I’m no longer a teenager.) That’s why I added my handy dandy audience categories—children, young adult, or adult. In fact, Malinda Lo’s Ash was originally written for an adult audience—I don’t believe she mentioned a particular reason, but with anything non-hetero getting slapped with a mature rating for even showing two characters of the same sex kissing, I think I know why. But her publisher decided it was a better fit for the young adult market, and it was marketed accordingly. So the difference between a young adult novel and an adult novel is actually pretty nebulous and arbitrary; there’s no reason to scoff at either audience.

To be wholly honest, I don’t read a lot of children’s books and I don’t read picture books; novels are my bread and butter. But if there’s a good one recommended to me, I’m not adverse to picking them up.

8 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Age-Appropriate

  1. I think the difference is between young adult and adult is as you said a very fine line but i also think its how much is fitted in to the book but that is just mee,

    The Book Mystress, xx

  2. I think you are right in that marketing (PR firms and publication houses) determine which market to “sell” to, not just the author. It’s what grabs my attention, that determines what I choose to read, not the intended audience designation.

  3. Though I learned to read at the average age (five), once I got the hang of it I was always running out ahead. I read eighth grade science textbooks in the first grade, just for fun, and throughout elementary school I got sorted into the reading group with all the Asian kids. While homeschooling my mom used an English curriculums from three years ahead, plus her own supplementations of Gogol. I was reading Margaret Atwood by sixth grade and George Eliot by ninth – as I’ve stated in another comment I basically skipped YA. A test administered in eleventh grade made the somewhat awkward-sounding assessment that I read on the level of a 34-year-old.

    Yes, of course I’m bragging. If what I love makes me look smart, so be it. Yet sometimes I wish I hadn’t been so precocious; I can’t tell you how many times I ended up emotionally wrecked by something from my intellectual level that I wasn’t ready for in a more general sense. Also, there is no way for a ninth grader who reads Jung not to be considered bizarre by her classmates and threatening by her teachers. The world was not designed for the hyperlexic individual.

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