In response to Ruth Graham’s article at Slate, “Against YA“, but REALLY in response to the sudden eruption of hand-wringing defenses of why it’s okay to read Young Adult books.
1. I am in a bookstore and I see a book in the Young Adult section that I think about buying. Another customer looks at me askance, as though I am childish for looking at a Young Adult Book. “Fuck that guy,” I think to myself, “this looks interesting.” I buy the book anyway.
2. I am reading a Young Adult Book on the train. Someone sits down across from me They have got a face like they think I should be embarrassed by my reading material. For a second I am worried. “Oh wait, I just remembered,” I think to myself, “Fuck that guy.” I continue reading my book
3. I am on a date. I think about mentioning a Young Adult book that I liked to the girl I am with, but I worry she’ll think I am childish for liking a Young Adult book. “Eh, whatever,” I say to myself, and ask her if she read the book. “No,” she says. The date proceeds apace.
4. I become an astronaut and go to the moon. When I get back to earth, the media finds out I like some Young Adult novel. “Doesn’t this mean you are immature?” They ask. “Fuck you,” I reply. “I am an astronaut.”
5. I am at a dinner party and I mention a book I like that is a Young Adult book. “Didn’t Ruth Graham write an article,” one of the other dinner party guests says, “saying adults should be ashamed to read that kind of book?” “Go fuck yourself,” I say, “I liked it.” I am thrown out of the dinner party for this reason, instead of being thrown out of the dinner party for telling some other, different guest to go fuck themselves, which I was pretty likely to do anyway.
6. I meet Ruth Graham on the street. I am carrying a Young Adult book. “Reading that kind of book means you are childish and immature,” she tells me. “I actually don’t care what you think about anything,” I tell her. The next day, I have completely forgotten the incident.
BONUS: Ways in Which Ruth Graham’s Article About Young Adult Novels Could Have Affected Me, and Did
1. Ruth Graham wrote an article on Slate about some dumb bullshit. People feel obligated to justify their tastes in things, and write a million earnest responses to it. I am reminded that Slate is a thing that exists