The Shame of Young Adults

02 Sep

Video NSFW

Auntie: What are you reading?
Child Amrita: Gone with the Wind. Have you read it?
Auntie: What?!
Child Amrita: I don’t really understand all of it but I think it’s great! The drama is out of this world! I think I’m addicted to good trash for life now. In fact, I’m gonna get the movie now and watch it.
Auntie: Stop it immediately or you will lose your childish innocence too soon!
Child Amrita: *grumble* When I grow up, nobody’s gonna tell me what I can read or not.

Teacher: What are you reading?
Tween Amrita: The Giant Book of Murder. It’s great.
Teacher: What?!
Tween Amrita: Look, it has sections devoted to axe murderers, serial killers and poisoners. I’m totally going to mine this for information that I will cunningly introduce into my English school essays to blow my competition out of the water!
Teacher: Stop it immediately! Or you will grow up into a psychopath.
Tween Amrita: *grumble* When I grow up, nobody will tell me what I can read or not!

Friend: What are you reading?
Teen Amrita: The Wheel of Time. It’s great!
Friend: What?!
Teen Amrita: Yeah, I’m really into fantasy fiction! It’s like science fiction but better! There’s parallel universes and alternate realities and magic and strange creatures and –
Friend: Stop!
Teen Amrita: Why?
Friend: I dunno. It sounds stupid and I’ve never read any. Here, read Chicken Soup like everybody else.
Teen Amrita: *grumble* When I grow up, nobody’s gonna tell me what I can read or not.

Internet: What are you reading?
Present Day Amrita: Young Adult fiction. It’s great!
Internet: What?!
Present Day Amrita: Yeah, I was too busy reading regular adult stuff when I was kid but now I find that there’s a lot of YA fiction out there that’s really good. So now I’m catching up.
Internet: Stop! Or at least have some shame! You’re reading stuff meant for children.
Present Day Amrita: *grumble* When I grow up…

I didn’t even know I was supposed to feel inferior about it. Should I cover my copy of Mockingjay with brown paper the way some women who read sexy romances on the subway do? What about graphic novels? Are those cool? Or is everybody sneering at me for choosing to read a comic like a little baby?

If only I read less and monitored the reactions of random strangers to my choice of reading material more, I bet I’d have the answers to all these pressing questions.


Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Books, Personal


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

23 responses to “The Shame of Young Adults

  1. shweta

    September 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Not at all- no covering up. I had the giant book of murders and the giant book of horrors, and wasted my young adulthood on Lady Bovary. Now, I’m all for Ann of Green Gables and that Little Lord Fauntleroy. Keeps us young, it does 😀

    • shweta

      September 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      tho in my case, Ann and Little Lord qualify as children’s books specifically

      • Madhu

        September 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

        I can’t help but be reminded by the spelling used here of the fact that a lot of the ‘drama’ of Anne of Green Gables centres around her absolute dislike of the name ‘Ann’ and that her most hated people call her that (and in the later books, Annie). 🙂

  2. DewdropDream

    September 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    God no! Young Adult fiction is refreshing! I’m trying to find something to fill the void left by Percy Jackson (finished the series twice over, whattodo?) … I think I’ll go get me a copy of Daddy-Long-Legs, should keep me happy for a while!

    And comics? I know several people who would think you’re the height of cool for choosing comics over regular fiction.

    • kaly

      September 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      As a tween I devoured every book I came across.. and, one of the ‘adult’ books that I read was Lady Chatterley’s Lover.. I thought that the tale would be abt a Bengali lady. 🙂

  3. Ava

    September 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    As I grow older, I like YA better 🙂 Even I read Dr.Zhivago when I was a teenager.

  4. Ritika

    September 3, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I still buy Enid Blyton secretly from the neighbourhood used books store. My emergency book cache always has an L.M. Montgomery and The Railway Children. And is it my fault that I grew up and Eoin Colfer did not finish his Artemis Fowl series?
    I usually argue it helps keep a balance. Which is the reason I was reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a ten year old and ‘The Wishing Chair Again’ when 22.

  5. sachita

    September 3, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Teen Sachita, Tween Sachita and Present day Sachita – read
    young adult fiction. I dont read only that but I do read them. The Public library does allow me to check them out so I think its ok:)

  6. cinemachaat

    September 3, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I’m the same. In such a hurry to get to the serious grown up stuff that I skipped so much great YA. I am making amends now! I read what I read and if people on the train want to judge it’s OK. I probably don’t like their shoes or something either. Great ideas and wonderful stories work at any age. Be proud of your catholic (note the small c ) taste! And imagine, what if one of those graphic novelists or YA writers saw you reading their work out in public? It would make their day. So do it!

  7. Bala

    September 3, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Hah, when I was a kid (7 yrs I guess) , I used to hide my copy of James Bond comics (the first time it was published by Diamond Comics :D)with their copious pics of naked women, inside a Beetle Bailey comic :D.Though this was mostly to protect it from the prying eyes of other kid friends (since it was my dad who had got it for me ).A certain friend was a famous prude who offered to take it and burn the comic for me (though obviously it was for him to peruse in his spare time 😀 )Oh and of course I can never bring myself to read say Chetan Bhagat “books” or even Harry Potter because of the literary scene-party I have become 😀

  8. munimma

    September 3, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Been there, done that, all the way. I love YA. I love Tinkle comics, Archie, Asterix, Tintin. Yep.

    We hold major discussions about Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and the new Peter Pan series (by dave barry and someone, have you read them?)

    I just need to make sure my girl is reading the right kind of books 😉

  9. Gradwolf

    September 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

    This happened to Harry Potter, no? When young and old adults started reading it on trains behind their newspapers.

    Where would we slot Savita Bhabi?

  10. M

    September 3, 2010 at 11:14 am

    You’re “normal” – at least in this area 🙂 🙂

    Add me to the list of readers who read anything and everything as a child – YA as a genre wasn’t the force it is today, back when I was a YA, so I discovered most YA authors as an adult and am SO hooked…the so-called adult books I read (Ludlum, what was that guy who wrote semi-soft porn – very popular in India) – none of that stuck. Now I collect girls’ fiction and am proud of it! I have the complete Chalet school set and am saving up for the Gwendoline Courtney set I covet!

  11. Bala

    September 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    @M: Ludlum ? Em perhaps Sidney Sheldon ?Or Harold Robbins ? 😀

    • M

      September 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      Harold Robbins – THAT was it! Thanks Bala!

      • haroldrobbinsnovels

        September 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

        Great to hear you were Robbins fan! Our blog is a great resource on Harold and his novels. Thanks!

  12. Yippee Yay

    September 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    You already know what my take on this topic is, ahem. I recall a friend of mine coming over to do combined studies in 10th std and her eyes nearly popped when she saw me seated (at my dad’s desk), with my math books open alongside, um, the latest issue of Debonair (which, for the record, wasn’t open, but just lying there where my dad last left it, and I’d totally missed hiding it from my mortified young visitor here. You shoulda seem me scramble to save face)!:-P

    Hey I recall seeing this gangsta-rap video last year, on a related post of yours. (At least that was when I saw it first and was seriously kicked!!)

    BTW, Sheldon here doesn’t approve of your confusing “comic book” with “comic”, ya know? Yes, there is a SERIOUS distinction. 😀

    Speaking of TBBT, I must preface that “comical” conversation with this and complete it with this and this. Also this, from a related episode (oh I could go on and on!).

    @munimma: “I love ya” — stop baiting Amrita; she’s MINE! 😛

    @Bala: Oh you surely mean “for him to peruse in his bare time”!!

  13. David A. Bedford

    September 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The question is not what marketing category a book falls into (commonly referred to as “genre”), but whether it is well written and speaks to you. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass were written for children but they are a unique and breathtaking work of art.

    Oh, frabjous day! Read what you want.

    Please visit my blog and leave a comment. Thanks!

  14. Amrita

    September 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Shweta – God, I love Anne of Green Gables. Every few years, I take out the complete collection for a re-read. Also, I can’t stand Pollyanna stories but I love Little Lord Fauntleroy. And Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm!

    3D – How about some Eoin Colfer or Naomi Novik? And try The Hunger Games.

    Kaly – LOL!!!

    Ava – I got turned off that book thanks to my Dad’s David Lean obsession which meant I was watching the movie every year.

    Ritika – well, I, for one, thoroughly approve and understand your reading choices! I might share them too!

    Sachita – you know how playgrounds sometimes kick you off the swings because they’re not meant for adults? The day a library does that to me, there will be war I tell you!

    CC – very true! Besides, I never look up unless someone is getting murdered or something, so the judgment passes right over my head!

    Bala – I didn’t even know there were such things as James Bond comics! I have to get hold of them now! aww, Beetle Bailey!

    Munimma – No, I haven’t read the new Peter Pan! I didn’t even know there was such a thing! More things to get! Hooray!

    Adithya – and the renewed interest in The Hobbit after LOTR. Savita Bhabhi, lol!

    M – whew! 😀 And you mean Harold Robbins probably, as Bala says. Although the love for If Tomorrow Comes is apparently universal.

    YY – this makes me wonder how come my dad never had a porn stash? Or maybe he was just super ninja at hiding it? 😀
    I don’t know why I never reviewed TBBT – it totally deserved it!
    And yes, I’ve used that video before. 😳 Eagle eye, elephant memory.

    David – True enough! And good luck with your writing!

    • YY

      September 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Yeah, the TBBT totally deserved it! Oh well.

      Speaking of “anything can happen” Thursdays, remember when the “Goat” was ACTUALLY “sacrificed to the mighty God Ra”? Gee, has it been five months already? Time does fly…

  15. Beth

    September 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Have you read the Georgia Nicholson series (Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging) by Louise Rennison? I devoured each of the ten with no shame whatsoever even though they have drawings of lipstick and underwear on the covers.

    • Bala

      September 4, 2010 at 11:35 pm

      @Beth : seen the movie ?
      @Amrita: oh yes indeedy they do.Though can’t have lasted long 😀 Before they were deemed to be corrupting innocent minds like mine 😀

      • Amrita

        September 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm

        I actually saw the movie, haven’t read the book. I bet the book would be better.

        I’ve been reading Melissa De la Cruz’s Blue Blood series. Teen vampires mixed with Christian mythology, set in high society prep school NYC. What’s not to like?

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