A Treatise on the YA Debate: Shame or Corey Haim?

I do not care what books you read. I would argue that it’s only important that you do read—but I’m not sure that’s true either. Reading a book about a cancerous Norwegian hockey player might help you understand what it’s like to be a cancerous Norwegian hockey player, but what if you already are a cancerous Norwegian hockey player? Bury me with my favorite puck, please.

What annoys me more than adults reading YA books is children reading YA books. They’re too young to be exposed to so many acronyms. Teachers, give them more Tolstoy and Dostoevsky where the names are long and the consonants arrive in groups of five. Or better yet, teach them to dance. Adults, DFAWYRTMAKFC: don’t fall asleep while you read the menu at KFC.

It would be very nice, though, to be able to talk about books with my friends the same way we talk about movies and TV shows. We could quote lines and point to our favorite chapters and discuss how the literary themes resonate with our lives—except that we’ve all lost our pants. I’m serious, none of us have pants anymore. My thighs are starting to peel. The sun is hot.

Moreover, they say that young adults these days take longer to reach maturity. They marry later. They believe in love for longer. They have a lot of student loans. They don’t like to work hard. That’s true for all of them except for my best friend Angie Woodworth. I met her outside her high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana—I was doing research on the psycho-physical effects of licking drug-free zone signs. Angie was heading to her job at the cattle-prod factory in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a long commute. Luckily, she let me ride in the basket of her bicycle. Anyway, she works damn hard in that factory. And all the elderly high school dropouts who work there are in love with her. She married three of them. She earned enough money to pay for college without any student loans but she’s taking them anyway because they come with a free iPhone 5S.

But don’t just take my word for it. Books are all the same. Scan them with an MRI machine. Shove them through an airport security conveyor belt. All you’ll see are paper knives and Brigadier General Arthur Tennessee Foxstreet.

Some might try to convince you that Brigadier General Foxstreet is not a real person, but have no fear, keep your pedal to the metal, give it a 110%, and remember that the only thing worth reading in this media-saturated, polarized streptococcal throat culture is the twitter feed from your lover’s heart…



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