What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.
But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.
I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from English speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.
Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the fewer people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?
If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.
Don’t give up reading,