Young Adult- Let’s Get Rid of the Age Qualification

Yes, this is my bookshelf.  Kim Harrison and J.K. Rowling are awarded prime real estate.
Yes, this is my bookshelf. Kim Harrison and J.K. Rowling are awarded prime real estate.

Back in the day, when I first started buying books, I remember beelining for the “Young Adult” section of the store.  In the beginning, it was maybe one rack of books in the corner, or behind the “regular” fiction/literature section.  It was the place in the bookstore where I would read each title, examine each cover, and figure out which books I hadn’t yet read.  Essentially no other section in the store existed for me for a long time.

Even now I can still visualize the young adult section in several bookstores I frequented long ago, most in stores that no longer exist.

I thought, “Young Adult”, these are the books for me!  I am a young. adult.

Even now, in my {insert age here}’s, I am still considered a “young adult”.  And I wonder, when will I stop being a “young adult”?  I feel as if I have been a young adult for a very long time.  When do I become an old adult?

But I refuse to stop enjoying young adult books because I am no longer a teenager, and I don’t think anyone else should either.  YA books are not classified as such because they are watered down, less serious, or not as good as “regular” fiction.  The only qualifier I can see is that they generally feature a teen protagonist–a character who, more often than not, faces far more emotional, societal, or crazy dystopian struggles than traditional fiction.

Sure, I read my fair share of traditional fiction, but Young Adult will perhaps always be my favorite section of the bookstore, and it will always hold that magic for me.

Yes, YA has certainly been gaining popularity recently with the Hunger Games and Divergent series being converted into movies; but I feel it still carries a stigma, which is why when I talk about Meadowcity, I like to tell people that it is for ages 12 and up.  I don’t think people should stop enjoying a style of writing once they reach a certain age.

YA books are for the young, and the young at heart–something I hope to be for a long, long time.

“I see now that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that’s filled with masterpieces I’ve never heard of.”

– Nick Hornby

When I am finally classified as an “old adult” you still won’t be able to pry Harry Potter from my stiff, arthritic fingers.