Reading = Freedom and Freedom = No Boundaries

Hey guys! Ooooh I’ve never did a discussion post on a Sunday! This is really weird, but this is a kind of a lazy Sunday so I thought I might as well!

So on Monday I made my fortnightly I’m Wittier In Writing post- which is a series of post where I just discuss writing and any news of any writtery (yep, I know that’s not a word) stuff that has happened to me. In the recent chapter- Chapter 5: Adult Fiction…But I’m A Teen!– I talked about how I got an idea for an adult/general fiction story but felt anxious about writing it because the main character would be a thirty year old widow which I’m clearly not. Thankfully, you guys gave me some great ideas and support in the comments and now I feel a lot less worried about writing that story.

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For this discussion post I’m going to be talking about the reader aspects of this natural limiting action that I find that we do way too much.


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It’s only logical to think that children aged 8-12 should read middle grade, teenagers should read young adult and adults should read adult/general fiction. But then again, it isn’t. Reading is anything but logical and sensible. It’s wild, limitless and exploratory. So giving ourselves this tight brackets to read from is anything but sensible and logical. Half (or even more than half) of the people that read YA aren’t teenagers which isn’t a bad thing at all.

While reading yes you connect to characters because they are the same age of you or because they have to work for five days a week as well or because they have tons of homework to do. But you also connect to them because of the emotions they are feeling- you can relate to the heartbreak they are feeling or how they feel lost or the grief that they are experiencing. Those emotions aren’t contained to one genre, they are experienced within each age bracket. Just because you are reading an adult/general fiction book don’t assume that your not going to enjoy it because you haven’t reached that part in your life. You should feel fee to read whatever you want!

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The same goes for middle grade. Middle Grade gets looked over a lot. It feels like the middle grade is at the bottom of the genre hierarchy. Adult fiction is something that is too high, while middle grade is too low. I’m not saying that young adult is the happy medium but this is what I’ve spotted. Well Harry Potter started off as a middle grade series and guess what, IT’S BRILLIANT! Anyone who says Harry Potter is too young for them or childish, I have to walk away, because the Harry Potter is the perfect example of a middle grade/young adult series which is truly for anyone of any age because it’s themes are transverse.

I guess this post is really for me, to convince myself that just because you don’t fit into a bracket doesn’t mean you should limit yourself. This post is also for anyone who limits themselves because of age. Boundaries are for losers!


What do you think? Do you think boundaries like adult, young adult and middle grade limit us too much? Do you sometimes limit yourself because of those tags? I’d love to know what you think!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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21 thoughts on “Reading = Freedom and Freedom = No Boundaries

  1. ichabod2014ic says:

    I have a suggestion for an author whose appeal is meant for a wide range of ages: Terry Pratchett. He writes in a way that is assessable to young readers, while remaining appealing to adults. In fact, I think his greatest fan base is with an adult readership.

    {btw- I am an author in the same category. I am always asked what my target audience is, but that is a difficult question for me. My adventures do not contain graphic sex, violence, or strong language, but with the occasional mild innuendo, are still of interest to grown-ups. 🙂 }

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      I want to get into some Terry Pratchett books actually but I’m a bit lost with all of the books! But I remember when his last book (I think?) was being released and a lot of adults and children alike were hyped for it!
      I can understand that dilemma! It would be hard to give your target audience as one age group as it would be restrictive wouldn’t it?
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kat Impossible says:

    I totally understand where you are coming from with this discussion post, but I don’t really feel restricted at all by the age suggestions. Sometimes I find that there are really grey areas and you can’t really tell who it is meant for anyway. I’ve found myself enjoying the POV of a 70-year-old more than that of a 20+ guy and I am completely fine with it. However, I have experienced some issues with younger characters. It’s not that their journeys don’t convey good messages or that they are written badly, but I just don’t enjoy and connect as much. I am trying not to be prejudiced, e.g. with Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, because I know she’s a great author, but middle grade hasn’t really been my thing in the past, so we will see.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Zezee says:

    I think it’s good to have indicators like middle-grade, young-adult, adult so readers can know what group a particular book is geared toward because sometimes an author will write a book with a certain age group in mind. However, I think it’s up to readers, and parents, to not limit what they or others read. I read from every age group, even children’s board books, because I enjoy them. As a kid, I read adult books because I was curious. My guardians tried to limit what I read at first but then relented. I don’t know why but after that one time, they never limited what I read because of my age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      That is true and I understand that point completely. Also books with the indicator adult might be because of some of the content that might not be appropriate for like eleven year olds but it should never be restrictive. I think when people like parents do restrict what their children are reading it comes from a well meaning place, but if a person is curious then they should be allowed to be!

      Like

  4. Aldii says:

    I don’t really care if what I read is an Adult, Middle Grade, YA or NA as long as it has my attention. Not going to lie that I’m not into Middle Grade that much, and that sometimes it’s hard to read an Adult book because of the pacing, or language or something in the writing. But that just happens sometimes, and to me.
    I have read Adult books and loved them, some of my favourite series and books are for ‘Adults’ and I have no worries about that, totally okay.
    As much as I enjoy reading YA sometimes I need some NA or Adult.
    I’m a faithful believer (and what works for me) is to read what you feel and what you have interest in. (And I should follow my own advice sometimes, and in the last months I have to remember that)

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      That’s a really great attitude to have! I often find myself just doing the same as well but lately I’ve been staying in YA lane which has frustrated me for restricting myself I guess subconsciously.
      Some of my favourite books are definietly not YA as well which is surprisingly as I only tend to read YA.
      Hahaha we can both follow your advice then together!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf says:

    I definitely think that Middle Grade gets overlooked or thought of as ‘childish’. One of my all time favourite series is Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and people in my real life often find that strange because “it’s for children”. I will read absolutely anything that takes me on a wild adventure with a group of characters that are interesting, fun and relatable. It doesn’t matter to me whether it is middle grade, young adult or adult. As long as it captures me, I will read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    Great discussion!

    As a 26 year old who mostly only reads YA and whose favourite series ever are, mostly, classed as MG, it’s safe to say I don’t have any boundaries when it comes to reading, haha.

    I definitely feel like there’s some judgement from non bookish members of society (or pretentious readers) in general when people in their 20s read YA (even though I’m pretty sure it’s the highest age demographic for that group?). I think it’s really silly and don’t let it bother me whatsoever. I do only look 12 though so maybe that’s why it’s not as awkward for me to be looking in those sections at bookstores 😂 Even if that wasn’t the case though I still wouldn’t care, haha!!

    The main thing is that the book captures my attention. I don’t care what “age” it’s targeted towards 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      Thank you!

      You go girl! Pretentious readers can go elsewhere I say. I’ve noticed it too that they look down on your age group when you read YA. Those are the readers that are missing out on some good solid books. Hahaha I guess looking younger then your age has it’s advantages when it comes to books!

      I’m totally the same- if I read the summary of a book and it’s awesome I’m going to read it! No ifs, buts or ‘but it’s middle grade’

      Like

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