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Cole Corner: YA books not just for young adults
January 30, 2014 · Grace Chamberlain

Young adult literature has really come into its own in the last few years. With best-sellers like Twilight and The Hunger Games hitting the shelves and the movie screen, readers of all ages, not just teens, have started to take notice.

For many adults, young adult literature (YA lit) is really something new. YA lit has been a recognized genre since the late 1960s, when novels like The Outsider and The Catcher in the Rye started becoming household names. While books likes these stand out in the public consciousness, for many adults "teen books" still exist under the umbrella of fluffy first loves and high school drama. But as the publishing industry has turned its eyes to the desirable "under 30" market, teen literature has really come into its own.

Unlike in decades past, YA lit is now hugely prolific. Anymore, just because a book is about teens does not mean that it is exclusively for teens; YA literature now is as diverse as literature aimed at adults.

So why read books about teens? Simply because they are good. When I started my job at Cole Library, I hadn't read a YA book since high school - and honestly I wasn't very excited about it. I had loved authors like Madeleine L'Engle.

More than half of the consumers of books classified for young adults aren't all that young. According to a new study, fully 55 percent of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids ages 12 to 17 are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44 - a group that alone accounted for 28 percent of YA sales. And adults aren't just purchasing for others - when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78 percent of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading.

Where to get started?

Ask a teen you know!

Go to the library (us).

Check out awesome websites like Goodreads and Amazon.

Read blogs like "So You Want to Read YA."

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