A couple of days ago I posted a discussion on Facebook to find out what some people think of grown adults being seen reading fiction meant for children, teenagers or young adults.
While most who commented thought that there’s nothing taboo about it because we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, pun intended, there is also a point raised by Diane Leow, that somewhat explains why some adults, who are not necessarily resistant to reading children/teenage fiction, will never be seen holding the book in a public place. A media student herself, she said that “the media industry is so critical on what we read (some newpapers are crap vs “good” newspapers) and what we wear etc. etc. that one can’t help but be self-conscious about what they read. ”
As for me, I think it’s important to read young adult fiction because in a way, they represent what is the current fad and in order to communicate and relate to them effectively , we need to immerse in their sub-cultures.
Actually, I started this thread because one random day, I had the sudden urge to read “The Diary of A Wimpy Kid”, so I “un-embarrassingly” asked my friend if I could borrow her daughter’s collection.
I finished the first book the day I brought home the collection and I have to say it is very entertaining because it is a straightforward and unapologetic perspective offered by a teenager, whose particular stage in life is never comprehensible to the adults.
The truth is our parents were all teenagers once, so why can’t they seem to understand and stop nagging?
Because more often than not, they try to relate to the current teenagers by applying what they went through during their own years, completely disregarding the societal, environmental, economic changes that have occured since then.
It is the same stage in life, but it happened in a different time and place, so it’s no longer applicable to the current teenagers. Very often, parents’ attempts to communicate end up being “incessant nagging”, from the perspective of the teen, which eventually results in the 3Rs – resistance, reluctance and in some cases rebellion.
For me, I find it hard to go back to a previous stage in life once you’ve moved past it. The only way I can, is to immerse myself in the literature of that time, to hopefully gain something that I’ve lost along the way. Not that during my time, the Diary of the Wimpy Kid was around though. Which is why I bought “A Wrinkle in Time“, to return to the kind of stories that I was familiar with when I was a child.
Somehow, children’s book written around the same time, like those by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, packaged lessons that both children and adults can learn in an imaginative world.
It’s nice to go back in time once in a while, to remember what it was like when we didn’t have so much baggage to lug around.