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Old 04-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
fjtorres
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NYT goes trolling - "Adults shouldn't read read YA fiction"

Obviously they have to be trolling.
"Adults shouldn't read YA fiction"

Nobody could be that cluesless.
Or could they?
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...t-books?ref=nf

Quote:
The only thing more embarrassing than catching a guy on the plane looking at pornography on his computer is seeing a guy on the plane reading “The Hunger Games.” Or a Twilight book. Or Harry Potter. The only time I’m O.K. with an adult holding a children’s book is if he’s moving his mouth as he reads.
The comments are amusing.

Tells us where the NYT stands these days, huh?
(Those *are* the same guys who think Jennifer Lawrence is too fat to play an athletic backwoods huntress.)

They did feature dissenting opinions, though:
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...-not-kid-stuff

But even that is more than a bit condescending.

Quote:
For a young adult audience, authors have to be at the top of our game. Were competing with Facebook and smartphones, DVRs and iPods -- not to mention SATs and extracurriculars. We have to capture and hold our readers’ (limited) attention on Page 1 and sustain it until the end.

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 04-28-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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We would all be better off if the words "should" and "shouldn't" were removed from our vocabulary.

Last edited by Synamon; 04-28-2012 at 12:18 PM. Reason: title was fixed by a mod
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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Man, that guy is a real idiot, he should read the books he disses before opening his mouth. People who insult Harry Potter are the lowest forms of life...
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Ah yes, Joel Stein. I wonder how many people the NY Times called, wanting someone who would take the position of saying No, adults should not read YA books, before they got to him way down on the list. All the sensible ones said they could not take that position. Then they called Joel Stein and said, "hello, this is the New York Times calling, we would like you to write an opinion piece" and he said "I'll do it," before he even knew what the position was.

That is how I imagine it all went down, anyway.

eP
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #5
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well to be honest most adults in the Usa read below YA level anyway.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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I feel guilty now for just starting to read Harry Potter (and I am in my mid 40's), seen all the films but never read the books so I wanted to try them
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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I'm also guessing that Mr. Stein has no children of his own. I read the HP series to connect with my son, and the Hunger Games trilogy to do the same with my daughter. The hours of discussions we've had *way more* than make up for the fact that the content was below my personal reading level.

Maybe he's just having a hard time finding a woman who finds him to be acceptable genetic material.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:36 PM   #8
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We are all kids at heart. We had a YA novel out for test reading, kids hated it, but the one person who found it "brilliant" was a very portly, unshaven, beer drinking, ever word censored, civil engineering site manager.

Everyone has there own "little secret" passions. Who are we to judge?

Enjoy what you like! If your embarrassed, don't tell anyone. Kids want adult grade shock and detail, adults want a bit of escapism. Market trends are useful, but demographics are so heavily skewed in all countries, and not because of reading ages or abilities, but because they like what they like and are not always prepared to be honest or open about it.

Life is a funny animal. )
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Obviously they have to be trolling.
"Adults shouldn't read YA fiction"

Nobody could be that cluesless.
Or could they?
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...t-books?ref=nf



The comments are amusing.

Tells us where the NYT stands these days, huh?
(Those *are* the same guys who think Jennifer Lawrence is too fat to play an athletic backwoods huntress.)

They did feature dissenting opinions, though:
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...-not-kid-stuff

But even that is more than a bit condescending.
If you think the Alzheimers Lady had standards or intellectual viability in decades past, you didn't read it. This is typical of their output throughout all the decades of my lifetime.

Jason Bair wasn't a flier either.

The NYT has always relied upon inspiring a sense of elitism in its readers rather than putting out a good product.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Oh please - I bought all my Harry Potter books in the "adult edition" offered by the British publisher. The main difference seemed to have been the covers, which were more "symbolic" and toned down from the regular edition and I gather that some illustrations at the chapter headings were omitted. Got such a kick out of the idea of an "adult edition" for the first HP book, that I made a point of getting the entire series that way.

Stein is probably just upset that the US publisher didn't think of the idea.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
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I have no idea what “The Hunger Games” is like. Maybe there are complicated shades of good and evil in each character. Maybe there are Pynchonesque turns of phrase. Maybe it delves into issues of identity, self-justification and anomie that would make David Foster Wallace proud. I don’t know because it’s a book for kids.
So basically he's going to let marketing decide what he should read.

He wraps his reasoning in psudo-intellectual garbage, but it boils down to where the book is shelved. Never mind all the crap that's marketed to adults. He'll read crap labeled "adult" before he'll read quality labeled "kid". He's says that explicitly. What an idiot.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Um, isn't the whole point of being an adult the fact that you can make decisions for yourself? So I can choose to stuff my face with chips and my brain with reality TV or even Twilight if I want. Oh, I do love the anonymity of ereaders!
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsalter View Post
I feel guilty now for just starting to read Harry Potter (and I am in my mid 40's), seen all the films but never read the books so I wanted to try them
Don't let this pretentious jerk stop you. I was in my 40's when I started reading the Potter books, and I highly recommend them. I have to admit though, the teen angst got a little excessive in the later books.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:45 PM   #14
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While I'm not interested in reading any of the books mentioned in the column, I do recall Len Edgerly of The Kindle Chronicles podcast mentioning that The Hunger Games books were remarkable. I doubt Mr. Edgerly moves his lips when he's reading.

While this doesn't classify as YA and steps a rung down to juvenile, I plan to revisit some of those John Bellairs books I enjoyed so much as a kid. I'll be sure not to move my lips or breathe through my mouth, but I'll enjoy the trip down memory lane and will make no apologies for it.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #15
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I haven't any of the books mentioned by Stein but some of the most enjoyable books I've read recently have been young adult fiction. Yes, some are fluffy but some have complex characters and themes. This also holds true for adult fiction. Plus, "fluffy" books (I guess this is what Stein really abhors) are damn good fun. So basically, he should get off his high horse and let people read whatever they want to read. The world is such a better place when we don't judge people's reading habits.

Before I end, I have to say some children's books are pretty entertaining as well. I took a children and youth services course this semester and while doing a story time project, I read some children's books. Many are actually quite good and one even made me cry because it was really touching. So maybe Stein should stop dismissing books because of their age level and just appreciate good writing!
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