Do You Read Outside Your Age?

I have a friend who has kickstarted her reading lately and she’s seeking out a lot of young adult books, because they’re generally shorter and lighter (content wise), so she can blast through several this summer. This had me thinking about the book genres I enjoy, strictly in relation to the age of their target audience. I’ll say quickly, I don’t think there’s any shame in reading a book that’s marketed to an audience younger (or older) than your own age – read whatever you like, because as long as you’re reading, I’m happy. Personally, I really enjoy young adult and middle grade fiction. I think, if you counted up the books I own from the YA and MG groups, they probably closely rival how many “adult” books I own.

When I was younger, I did read a bit above my age – I’ve always loved and understood words and it was easy for me to tackle a book, say Mists of Avalon, years before most people would attempt it. Now that I’m…an adult (?!), I find that I really enjoy literature marketed towards teens and younger children. There’s something…not quite simple, but, light, maybe, about most of the works in those groups. Sometimes I just need something easy to digest, with a fun plot or silly characters, rather than a massive fantasy tome that will drown me with sub-plots and family trees and maps I can’t understand. I do find I’m easily annoyed with many of the tropes involved in YA fiction particularly, however, at times, I crave something with a semi-predictable format. I like star-crossed lovers and teenage girls who can kick ass. With MG, I enjoy that there’s usually a lack of romance and an emphasis on presenting new vocabulary words or ideas. I especially love any book that comes with illustrations and I’m a strong believer that more adult books should feature them too.

Now that I’ve rambled on, I want to know what you like to read. Do you read books meant for a younger or older audience? If so, what do you prefer about that type of book that you maybe don’t find in books marketed at people in your age group?

2 thoughts on “Do You Read Outside Your Age?

  1. Danielle says:

    I totally agree with all you said, here — right down to the experience of reading far above my age when I was a child, and now as an adult, enjoying dipping into kids’ and YA books. I think it’s healthy to read outside our age; I think it keeps us on our toes and stops our worlds from becoming too narrow.

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