What defines literature? When written works are categorized, only poetry, plays, short stories, and novels are defined as true literature. Genre fiction tends to be left out of what is deemed appropriate reading material for adults. If it's not a high literary work, then it's often referred to as genre with a condescending tone. Classic novels are often genre, just written in a literary fashion. If you look at classic novels taught in schools, a majority of those literary works are also labeled as genre. "Dracula" by Bram Stoker is a supernatural horror novel that started the trend of vampires.

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson is a science fiction novella. Jules Verne wrote adventure novels about traveling to a mysterious island and to the center of the earth.

Statistics of adults reading literature as of 2015

A study conducted by the National Endowment of Arts showed a low of 43% of adults read literature last year. The study only counted reading for recreation. About 50% of women read literature while only 36% of men did. The age group 65 to 74 had a high of 49% reading literature. The lowest percent for readers was for the age group of 75+, which was at 38%.

The study showed that supposedly the higher the level of education, the more people read literature. Adults with a graduate degree were at 68% while people with a high school degree were at 30%.

There was no statistic for this study for readers of genre fiction such as science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and YA.

Adults choose to read YA over literature

While adults aren't reading much of what defines literature, 73% read at least one Book from any category in 2015. Books aimed at a younger audience sell more worldwide than books aimed at adults.

A study conducted in 2012 revealed that 55% of YA readers are actually adults. The desire for escapism has been credited for why so many adults crave reading YA novels.

"Harry Potter" is credited with being what started the popularity of the YA genre, allowing readers to attach to characters as children and grow up with them.

Being able to go back to childhood can be very reminiscent for adults. Whether it's re-reading a childhood favorite or forming a connection, adults are finding a reason to read more YA fiction.

People have found fault in adults reading fiction aimed at young adults. That if more adults read YA novels than less teens will want to keep reading when they grow up. Adults shouldn't have to determine what they read based on what other people think. If a teenager has a passion for reading then they won't lose that when they reach adulthood. The perk of being an adult is that you can enjoy a vast array of books. Adults are more than capable of reading "Grapes of Wrath" and "Peter Pan." They can enjoy YA fiction in the same way they can enjoy a murder mystery and a novel by Jules Verne.

Read what you love.

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