Monday, June 9, 2014

You say 'escapist' like it's a bad thing...

So, last week I made the mistake of reading an article that I knew was going to make me angry.  I know, I know - someone was wrong on the internet, and I fell into the trap of reading about it.  Still, it gave me something to think about.

The article on Slate was regarding young adult books, and how adults should "feel ashamed" for reading them.  One of the main arguments the author made against the YA world was that they are escapist.  This, to me, seems ridiculous.  I don't read fiction to immerse myself into the trials and tribulations of today's world, exactly as I am living it at this moment; I read fiction to go to a different world, or even a different part of this world.  I read, in fact, to escape.  I'm finding it hard to believe that escaping in that way is a bad thing.

One thing that I've learned from writing is that sometimes, you have to step away from a story and do something else for a bit.  It gives you a chance to change your perspective, and may help give you an idea of how to solve the issue you've been having - an idea you might not have thought of if you hadn't stepped away.  Shifting perspectives, looking at something else, taking a break - those all sound like things you get from reading, don't they?  Frankly, I feel better after reading even a "trashy" novel, because I've had a chance to go somewhere else for a bit.  I might not want to stay in that somewhere else - hell, when I read zombie novels, I definitely don't want to stay there - but it's nice to take a breather before diving back into the "real world."

I don't care that I'm a "grown-up", and should be reading Serious Literature that Deals Seriously with Serious Things.  I get enough of that in the day to day.  If I want to spend some time in a world where the biggest problem is getting that cute guy's attention (well, until the aliens show up), then that's where I'm going.  That's one of the perks of being a "grown-up" - you can read whatever you want.

And you can pry my copies of A Wrinkle in Time from my cold, dead fingers.