This week, Ahna and I have been talking about young adult literature. More specifically, we’ve been talking about adults who read young adult literature . . . and other adults who criticize them for doing so.

As you might be able to guess, I support adults reading YA. Unfortunately, not everyone respects young adult and children’s literature. I have had more than one person say to me, “So, when are you going to start reading real books?”

But as Nasreddine reminds us, there’s always going to be someone who criticizes you for just living your life. (See what children’s books can teach us?) So, in case you lack a background in interrogation resistance, here are some responses you can use when someone asks you:

 “Aren’t you a bit old to be reading YA?”

1.  Isn’t it a bit rude to ask me that?

2.  Well, I’m going to live forever thanks to cryogenics, so age doesn’t really mean anything to me.

3.  My imaginary friend doesn’t think so.

4.  I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you hated joy.

5.  I’m actually aging backwards, Benjamin Button-style. So no, I’m right where I should be.

6.  I don’t think you’re ever too old to have fun.

7.  Well, I just finished The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, so I’m looking for a change of pace.

8.  My mom says I can read whatever I want, as long as I have my homework done.

9.  I’m just reading up on possible dystopian futures so I can survive the impending apocalypse. But if you want to be unprepared, that’s cool too.

10.  No.

I hope these suggestions help you if and when you run into naysayers.

But of course, no matter what anyone tells you, keep reading.

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About Coffee Break Confidential:

This monthly column is where EBYR assistant managing editor/vlogger/super spy Katherine Gibson divulges extra information from Coffee Break with EBYR that would otherwise be kept off the record. She’s researching topics related to children’s literature, posting her findings—and taking down some powerful militarized governments in the process. Just kidding about that last one. (Or are we?)