I don’t think it’s any surprise to anyone that I love lots of different book genres. I jump like a grasshopper on speed from genre to genre. It all just depends on my current book mood as to what I’ll choose next. If you were to hold me up at gunpoint though and demand to know my favourite genre, I would without hesitation pick YA. I would then have to stop and wonder why you are holding me up at gunpoint; I thought we were bloggie friends!
And I’m sure most of you are united with me in my love of bookshops. All those books, all the possibilities, the thrill of maybe finding a new favourite. I love it. I do tend to do a lot of my book shopping on Amazon as I buy mostly Ebooks these days but shopping in a brick-and-mortar book shop is an unparalleled experience. Amazon shopping gets the job done quickly and effectively but bookshop shopping feeds all my book senses.
However, when you match my YA book love and book shopping love then we have a problem. The YA books are in the children’s section of the bookshop and this makes me feel a bit ridiculous. Come on, lots of adults read YA. I’m not alone so why make me feel like an adult with immature reading taste. Or even worse if I’m asking someone to pick up a book a book for me and I have to explain it will be in the kiddie section. Thank you, that made me feel well-read and clever, not!
In my local bookshop, there is a really cute little table and chairs for little folk. And even a Prince and Princess style throne to sit in while you decide which magical book to take home. I love that, it’s appropriate for a children’s section. But when you have the YA books in here too, no wonder I feel uncomfortable. Frankly, I would be less embarrassed in the Erotica section!
Even when I was a child, I didn’t want to shop in the children’s section; I wanted the big, thick, interesting looking books. I wanted books to make me feel older. And no, I don’t read YA books to make me feel younger. I read them because so many are well written, fresh, imaginative, not so full of self importance and something about them just appeals to me. Maybe it’s because YA straddles different genres. Take Cinder – Sci Fi, Dystopian, Romance, Fairytale all wrapped up in one book. For a genre drifter like me, that’s impressive.
I came across a survey (on www.publishersweekly.com) that shows that 55% of YA books are bought by adults. The largest segment within that group is the 30 to 44 age group. And the study also shows they are not buying for someone else, they are buying for themselves. I think that proves my point nicely. And the teenagers who are buying and reading YA, I really doubt they want to be in the Children’s section either. Irish books sellers; Are you listening?
Bookish Chat : Maybe this is less of a problem in other countries? Are you forced to sneak in and out of children’s sections like I am? And does it bother you