A couple weeks back, the New York Times published a piece by Joel Stein, arguing that adults should not read books aimed at youth. There have been plenty of cogent, scornful, and indignant responses, but for my money C.S. Lewis, speaking from the grave, says everything that needs to be said:
Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development.
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
Thanks to The Daily Dish for the Lewis quote.