GK Chesterton and YA Fiction

The Quote of the Day gadget today shows me this one from G.K. Chesterton.

There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.

Then I saw (via Largehearted Boy) an LA Times article about adults reading young adult fiction.

Attracted by well-written, fast-paced and engaging stories that span the gamut of genres and subjects, such [adult] readers have mainstreamed a niche long derided as just for kids… Where adult hardcover sales were down 17.8% for the first half of 2009 versus the same period in 2008, children’s/young adult hardcovers were up 30.7%.

The same passage provides four examples of YA lit. I read The Book Thief a while ago. I recently finished The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) and have started on the sequel.

So I’m a pretty good example of a YA-reading adult, especially since The Hunger Games is on my wishlist. I won’t mention the fourth example from the LAT article: you can probably guess, and I won’t be reading it.

There are several links between the GK quote and the LAT article. First, the quote is an explanation of the article. But it’s only a partial explanation. The tired grownup who reads the first Percy Jackson often turns into the grownup who’s eager for the second – and possibly even more tired, having stayed up late to finish the first.

Even leaving aside the sequel syndrome, some YA novels are good enough to deserve eager readers.

A second link between GK and YA is that some YA writers are fans of GK: Neil Gaiman, for example. There are many more links, and much more to be written: but not by me, at least not right now.

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