Monday, February 25, 2013 | By: Brianna

The Teen Section

(BRIANNA enters her local library in search of a book that she's been trying to get her hands on for the past two weeks so she can participate in another library's book discussion.  All bundled up in her green army jacket, Doctor Who inspired scarf, gloves, and a purple knit cap, BRIANNA quickly locates the book she's looking for and tucks it under her arm for safe-keeping while she browses another section of the library.

When this scene begins we find BRIANNA standing in front of a short set of shelves with books in them.  Over the shelves is a banner that reads "TEEN SECTION.")

(BRIANNA is considering the books in front of her, thinking that she's getting one book already and she has another half a dozen at home, so what would be the point in getting more.  She's just replaced a book on the shelf when LIBRARIAN approaches her.)

LIBRARIAN:  Can I help you find something or are you just browsing?

BRIANNA:  (startled by the sudden appearance of LIBRARIAN)  Oh!  No thank you, I'm just browsing.

LIBRARIAN:  Okay, because you do know this is the teen section...

(BRIANNA is confused and opens her mouth to say something just as LIBRARIAN continues speaking.)

LIBRARIAN:  Oh, you must have a teen at home.

BRIANNA:  I--I'm only just recently "not a teen"...

LIBRARIAN:  Oh, you just like--you like reading...well, keep reading!  (she smiles cheerfully and turns away)

(BRIANNA, completely astounded by the interaction leaves the library at a brisk walk.)


Yes.  I am 22 and I still read books that are shelved in the "teen section."  If someone out there in the world can give me a legitimate reason as to why this is a bad thing, then maybe I will consider stopping, but taking into account that the book I was holding I had retrieved from the adult fiction section, and also that I was not planning on getting another teen book this time around, I'm thinking that there should be some more slack cut here.  And it should also be noted that if I did indeed have a "teen at home," I'm pretty sure that they could pick out their own books so "Mommy" could go find books of her own in the middle of the day on a weekday.

Does age level matter when it comes to reading when truly good and meaningful books should be able to translate to multiple levels of readers and ages?  Should librarians monitor the people checking out books that are considered "teen books"?  If so, where does the monitoring stop, will parents be able to check out picture books for their younger children?  Why can't everyone just read what they want to read?!

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
- Jane Austen


Elizabeth said...

oh my GOD that drives me nuts. I love teen books. I reread the Everworld series and Artemis Fowl series ALL the time, and my mom is always like, "you should be reading something more challenging for your age." But books are meant to be enjoyed as much as they are meant to inform or challenge! I approve of your reading, Brianna!

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