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) and 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. I really enjoy middle-grade fiction. I probably own nearly as many books in that genre than I do “adult” books.

When I was younger, I did read a bit above my age – I’ve always loved and understood words (or wasn’t afraid to look up new ones) 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. Sometimes they’re a lighter read, but a good portion of the MG I read hits on heavier topics. There’s just something about them that makes them easy to sink into.

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 (or am too lazy to reference). 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 teenage girls who can kick ass. With MG, I enjoy that there’s usually a lack of romance and an emphasis on friendships. 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 to 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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