A few weeks ago I read an article by Ruth Graham entitled, Against YA. The subtitle states, “Read what you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”
YA stands for Young Adult. So the whole point of the article was that any adult that reads books like Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Divergent etc., should be embarrassed. I happen to have read all of those books. I love YA books. I find them a fun, easy read and usually the stories are pretty good. Sometimes a little predictable, but after working all day and running another business, I appreciate a non-heady read. This article bugged me and I found myself thinking about it for days. I didn’t care that Ms. Graham was judging what I was reading. Something else was bothering me and I wasn’t sure what. When that happens, I know it is time for a little research. A Soul Survey if you will.
After spending a little quite time thinking about the article, I realized it was the application of the word adult in the article that was bothering me. Am I not an adult because I like to read YA? What exactly makes someone an adult I wondered? So as I usually do I decided I should look it up. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of adult is “one that is fully grown or mature.” After reading that, I decided I should break down the definition into its two parts and see how it applied to me.
So I first examined the notion of being mature. I can be mature, but I prefer to have fun. I do know how to behave in a socially acceptable manner. For example, I know how to behave at a funeral and a business meal, which at times are surprisingly similar affairs. I like to sing in grocery store when 70s and 80s tunes are playing (thank you Kings in Whitehouse). My favorite place is Walt Disney World and whenever possible I like to wear t-shirts. I don’t think any of those things equal mature.
I know for sure that I am not fully grown. I never want to be. I want to be in a state of constant wonder and learning until the day I die. As I go to bed each night, I want to reflect on the new things I learned that day. As I write this, I just learned from watching World Cup Soccer that the Ivory Coast is a country ( I’ve never been very good at geography).
So, based on my Soul Survey, I learned that I do not consider myself an adult. That is a label that others might want to hang on me due to my age or the fact that I know what fork to use in a fancy restaurant, but I guess the books I read will give me away to society. Oh well. I got it! Put me in the same category as the books I like to read. Label me a young adult. I like that.