Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’ve been reading a few non-YA books (i.e. ‘adult’, though that sounds dodgy) recently, because I feel I should expand my reading horizons and not read solely in one genre.

Then I read another YA book (Flip, by Martyn Bedford, if you want to know) and remembered why I like YA so much. I have been limiting my reading to during my commute (which, being a London commute, takes up almost two hours a day). Two hours a day is a very respectable amount of reading to get done, but when I was reading Flip, it wasn’t enough. I kept reading in the evening, while stirring my dinner (pumpkin soup, stirring with my left hand and spattering orange over the stove), while watching TV with my flatmates, and then until past my bedtime. I counted it an achievement when I actually managed to put it down and turn  off my light.

I know lots of adult books must be unput-downable, but I don’t seem to find them as often as unput-downable YA books. Maybe it’s just my personal preferences, or maybe I’m reading the wrong books, but I’m going to go with a gut theory here.

YA books tend to be shorter, so there is more of a chance you can finish in one sitting. The pace and language (broooad generalisation) tend to be faster, meaning you can read (and want to read) the book quicker. They deal with themes of identity (who doesn’t deal with that in their own lives?) and explore issues. They can end bitter-sweet or happy, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. You can have serious issues and jokes and fantasy and reality and adventure and mystery.

What books can’t you put down?

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