I only ever have a problem reading YA books one basically two occasions. The first is when I'm browsing through the aisles at Barnes and Noble and an actual young adult comes up invading my browsing space. I'm nearing the age where I feel like they might actually be wondering to themselves what the old lady is doing in their section (perhaps that's why I usually just order my new books from Amazon these days).
The second problem I have with YA lies in its tendency to fall into convenient plot traps. Let's be honest, here. I read books by females, mostly. I'm not saying I'm sexist when it comes to purchasing new books, but maybe I'm a little bit sexist. (That's my bad, I know. But I'm working on it!) That being said, we can safely assume that the books females write are mainly about a female protagonist. And that the female author loves books, considering she has produced a work of fiction for me to enjoy. I have noticed an obvious trend as a result of this in which every heroine of said YA novel seems to be head over heels in love with books.
And I'm talking EVERY heroine. I have never met a main female character in a book that doesn't like to read. Come on! Not everybody loves to read, people! I know plenty of others that don't freak out at the thought of owning a Beauty-and-the-Beast-esque library. I'm pretty positive that personality exists out there!
So why is it, then, that all these heroines all flip their shit at the idea of reading? I have a theory that authors can't respect someone that doesn't appreciate the written word, so they always have to infuse this element of themselves into their character. But the reality is, people are more varied than that. It honestly is getting pretty boring to keep reading this in every story I pick up.
So this got me thinking.
Most YA books, at least modern ones, are about girls. Seriously. Go to Target and take a look at that YA shelf - it's covered in feminine crap all over the place. When did reading become a feminine-centric activity? At least in the YA section, there are very limited choices for guys looking for a story. They get pushed over into the adult scifi and fantasy sections instead. So does that mean it's ok for adult men to read, but not adolescents?
In all reality, the adult SciFi/Fantasy sections are a male dominated genre, and it's pretty difficult to find a good female author writing about a female heroine. Perhaps that's why I've come to rely on my YA section to heavily.
But I digress... the real thing I wanted to touch on was the concept of expanding your idea of the worth of a person separate of their love of books. Yes, your heroine can be awesome, get the guy, save the day, and still not yearn for a three-story library.
I know it's difficult to believe, but there's a vast population of worthy people out there that don't read as much as us book worms. And that's ok, too.