Don’t Tell People What They Should Or Should Not Be Reading
(This post is kind of a rant. Be warned. I’m angry.)
This post was sparked when I received a message on an anonymous question-y thing called Curious Cat, so people could ask me questions and make confessions. I’d seen others doing it, it looked fun, so I gave it a try. It was all going well…and then I saw this.
I’m not even going to talk about the last sentence and how rude it is- I already did on Twitter. What I AM going to talk about is this:
You have no right to tell people what they should or should not be reading.
I’m going to focus on people telling younger readers that, instead of telling older readers, but Paige has done a great post about that here that you should check out. I am obviously not qualified to talk about that subject, but Paige does a fantastic job of it.
This anonymous person- and not just them, I’ve seen many people before- is telling me what I should and should not be reading. That I am not qualified myself to be the judge of what I read. That THEY are obviously smarter and know what I should read and what is appropriate for me.
Thanks for worrying about me, though!
I know what I’m comfortable reading. As a young teenager, I often share with my parents what I’m reading. They trust me to be a good judge. If I’m uncomfortable reading a book (be it because of sex, language, violence, whatever), I will PUT IT DOWN.
I can read books like A Court of Mist and Fury if I want to and feel comfortable doing so, because I (and my parents) KNOW WHAT I CAN HANDLE.
You, anonymous internet person, (and anyone else, really) have NO SAY AT ALL in what I read. None.
And it’s not like I’m off reading “bad books”! < i.e, extremely sex-filled books like 5o Shades of Grey. I’ve read ACOMAF. I’ve read a few Colleen Hoover books. That is IT. Other than that, I read almost ONLY YA. And even if I had read more, you can’t tell me that it’s “too much”. You’re not the boss of me. Surprise!
So, I honestly have no clue what you’re talking about. Are you saying that YA, a category created for my age (although DEFINITELY not limited to it) is inappropriate? That I shouldn’t be reading books originally written for me?
Because if so, I can’t help you, you’re so misinformed.
If you’re saying that the THREE NA books I’ve read were AWFUL and I never should have read them and that they’ve completely and utterly ruined me as a person, well.
I still can’t help you.
And this is not only to you, anon. It is to ANYONE who thinks they can tell younger teenagers what they can and cannot be reading.
It would be completely different if you were my parent. I’d respect you. I’d listen to your opinion, because you know me. You know what I’m ready for.
But YOU DON’T KNOW ME. At all. Most likely, you’ve never met me. And even if we have met, you still don’t know me and what I’m comfortable reading. Even if you didn’t know me and you said this, you should say it in a way that’s not condescending and rude. But you did.
Honestly, I’m just disappointed in anyone that thinks it’s okay to tell someone they should not be reading something.
Books are divided by age- YA, Adult, NA- as a guideline. Not a law.
It’s not, “Oh, you’re 20, now you can’t read YA.” It’s not, “Oh, you’re 15, you can’t read NA.” They exist so that people know what they’re getting into when they decide to read a book.
And I want to say this: I’m not saying younger people should be allowed to read whatever they want completely. I don’t want 10 year olds reading 50SOG. But YOU don’t get to tell teenagers that it’s wrong for us to read what we’re reading.
Also: I think I know what curse words are. I think I know what sex is. I think I know what violence is. These books I’m reading aren’t influencing me in any way or opening my eyes up to anything new in that regard. Sorry if you thought I was raised in a bubble: I wasn’t.
I’m sorry for the very rant-y post, but I had a point to make. I hope you learned something.
What do you think of this topic? Do you agree with me? (It’s okay if you don’t, but don’t tell me what I should not be reading. Please.) Have you experienced or seen this before? Does it make you as aggravated as it makes me?
Side note: If you think I’m overreacting, that it was just a little note, please remember: it wasn’t just that note. I’ve seen it over and over again before.
Thanks for reading,