Round Table: The Shame of Reading (But Not Watching) YA

This week, fueled by indignation, caffeine and procrastination, we attacked the age old question of why adults are ashamed to read teen books . . . but not to indulge in movies with names like Van Wilder. In other words: why there is more guilt involved in buying a book about teens versus watching a movie about teens.

Because it grinds our gears.


And, go:

Brenna: man, all my thoughts on this are very serious and kind of annoyed
Tess: we can make funny comments to your serious stuff
Brenna: like, if American Pie were a book, it would be in so much trouble. but it’s a movie, so everyone just lets it be how it is

Tess: it would be banned. but there are things you can get away with visually that you can’t with Teh Words
Maggie: Oh, yes, what with the whole your-sex-is-on-fire-and-also-in-a-pie way
Tess: because you can imply cock-and-balls without saying PENIS
Maggie: you just said it.
Brenna: hahaha
Tess: i did. i like to but i was just writing something that involved me trying very hard to avoid the word, actually.
Maggie: I was thinking about Ferris Bueller, because I often do, because c’mon, who doesn’t. and I was thinking that adults also don’t feel at all guilty about saying they love that movie. While they creep up to me in my signing line and say, "I know I’m not a teen, but I love your book."

Tess: though, Ferris Bueller came out with a lot of adults WERE young. so it’s also a nostalgia thing.
Maggie: I don’t think that is as young as you think. I think it’s the audience that watches Charlie Bartlett. 20s. I didn’t watch Ferris for the first time on my own, I saw it because my parents were watching it for the millionth time.
Brenna: I like Charlie Bartlett

Tess: But Ferris Bueller came out in 1986, so you DO have to take into account that most people who love it have loved it for a long time.
Maggie: I am trying to think of other teen movies. The American Pie ones are a really good example. and there are a million of them. Actually, there are a lot of teen comedies aimed at 20 somethings and college kids.
Tess: yes, i was going to say. though i think most of them recently were directly inspired BY American Pie. Before that I can think of only stand outs like Clueless. (yes i called clueless a stand out)
Maggie: I move to strike your opinion from the record. As you are too cultured
Tess: bc my fav teen movies are ALL based on famous literary novels
Brenna: all the teen dramas I can think of revolve around things like dancing
Tess: ooooh Dancing Movies!
Maggie: Adventures in Babysitting. the 80s were good for teens. I wonder how much of that is just because those aren’t the movies I pay attention to now, though
Tess: yeah, they were. All the Molly Ringwald movies. though, my friends and I scorned Molly Ringwald bc our mothers loved them.

Brenna: now, it seems like a lot YA books that have been optioned are actually going into production, so maybe it will be good again.
Maggie: Nick and Norah, for instance. I think the point is that, movies with teen protagonists do exist, and they are being marketed to adults. and adults don’t have shame associated with it. so, why? (look at Maggie trying to bring it back to the topic)
Brenna: what makes you feel like they’re being marketed to adults?

Maggie: places that they’re being marketed. time slots for the ads. not on the back of breakfast cereal and in teen mags. and that’s about it. No one is quite sure how to reach teens that aren’t reading teen cosmo.
Tess: Maybe… THAT is the problem. With movies, it’s kidling or adult.
Maggie: Oh, that’s a good point, Tess.
Tess: but with books, you have several levels of kid before adult
Maggie: And teens are going to see Iron Man. not some special teen movie because if it was Iron Man with teens, it would be lame and middle schoolers would go see it and it would be called Shark Boy and Lava Girl or whatever
Tess: And if Iron Man was a novel, it would be adult.
Brenna: because it’s about adults
Maggie: that is because you cannot censor Tony Stark
Tess: thank god
Brenna: hahaha
Maggie: I think we can reverse engineer this to where if adults feel anything is watered down, they feel embarrassed
it is not the teen concept it is the culture/ maturity/ intelligence thing they have no problem with Harry Potter because it doesn’t feel lightweight. It is for kids, but it is no holds barred, substantial, well made. Also, there are a lot of adult characters moving around in the background. I think with something like Shark Boy or whatever, there are 2D adult figures but it is a child’s world like Captain Underpants.
Brenna: but that’s for children–young children
Maggie: Yes, but WHY. what makes us think that? I think that’s the key to why adults are afraid to be seen reading YA

Tess: being branded immature. not serious
Brenna: because the story is very superficial and overwrought
Maggie: angst. too tight of a teen lens.
Tess: Because the story is very superficial and overwrought = The Lord of the Rings. Titanic. Avatar.
Brenna: yes, so there’s something specifically going on when people are told that something is for teenagers. that’s really where I was going with that, by the way
Tess: I think it’s because Shark Boy and Lava Girl are 10 years old. Why would a real adult want to watch a movie with a 15 year old protag? adults have better things to do.
Maggie: You should talk more, so I can form an intelligent sounding response

Tess: well, Marketing Works.
Maggie: well, because we aren’t going back and watching disney movies with our friends. "Hey, buddy, want to come over for a beer and Return to Witch Mountain?"
Brenna: okay, derail for a second, I just thought of something. I just realized that I was a TON of teen/high school movies. they are all horror
Maggie: that whole genre of dead hot girl movies.
Tess: so basically, there’s a huge Teen Movie Genre that adults are part of the audience for
Maggie: that adults don’t feel bad about
Tess: in a way they aren’t with YA books
Maggie: so WHY, we scream, why!
Tess: ok, YA books are judged in a way that Teen Movies aren’t. because… books are supposed to be better.
Maggie: I got one for you. a reason. where do you find a YA book?
Tess: Amazon.
Maggie: YA section, you prig. where do you find a teen movie?
Brenna: Netflix
Tess: But i don’t think you can really hang anything on that argument, bc you can get any book you want on the internet. you don’t HAVE to do the walk of shame to the kids section
Maggie: but I was just talking with an author and she said that online sales are still only 2% of her sales

Brenna: I like the walk of shame into the kids section
Maggie: and how are you going to find out about those books if you are not reading YA blogs? if you’re just an adult?
Brenna: maybe that’s where the marketing really comes in
Maggie: because your coworker says, I read this book with a werewolf named Sam in it, and it’s a teen book, but it’s REALLY GOOD. I’m thinking that the shame comes BECAUSE of marketing. like Brenna says. You can go into any movie and you don’t have to get brown paper bags to cover your teen movie tickets and oh — i just thought of something
Tess: we believe what marketing says
Maggie: You know the movie I DO hear a lot of shame about? Twilight. not because it’s a teen movie, though
Brenna: okay, true–people apologize for liking it
Tess: Because it’s pretending to be Epic.
Maggie: because it’s seen as melodramatic and indulgent and fluffy
Tess: yes. like all teen romances
Maggie: and I think that’s because people feel guilty about being seen walking into the theater. that’s the closest thing to teen book guilt that I can think of with movies
Tess: but not for the latest Michael Bay
Maggie: okay, here is the question. take a YA book out of the YA section. hand it to an adult. they read it, like it. do they feel bad because of its inherent content still? not knowing where it came from?
Brenna: I don’t think so
Maggie: I don’t either.
Tess: I doubt it

Maggie: I think that answers the question.
Tess: But the question really is: why does it MATTER that the book comes from the YA section. when it doesn’t matter that the movie is about the exact same things. just marketing?

Maggie: because there is a lot of condescension towards teens.
Tess: If there were suddenly a new genre of movie: the YA movie… would adults feel that way about going to that line?
Maggie: they are seen as flippant, shallow, fickle.
Tess: I think they would. I.E. Twilight.
Maggie: the "like, what, huh?" market
Tess: yes.
Maggie: and anything that makes adults feel dumb, they feel bad about enjoying. well, teens, too. even Thing 1 will not participate in activities with Thing 2 that she thinks are too "pre-k". "because I’m older than that now, and I don’t do BABY THINGS."
Brenna: when I was young (possibly too young) I really liked Heathers* because I felt that it was not treating me like I was stupid. I also liked The Breakfast Club but not as much, because I secretly felt that it did think I was stupid
Tess: I was grossed out by Ally Sheedy’s dandruff. blood = yes please. dandruff = ugh
Brenna: Heathers is another one that as a book would have so many people in an uproar
Tess: no kidding. Because books are role models. movies are not. books MOLD OUR YOUTH
Brenna: okay, I think we may have found something
Tess: movies are sheer entertainment. movies can have bad parents, but books cannot unless it’s an issues book

Brenna: people are way less forgiving about "trashy" book than movies and when I saw "trashy" I mean what we talked about earlier, anything perceived as being "below" us

Maggie: I was going to say, I think commitment is part of it. it is like, we are indulgent if someone spends 1 hour playing Farmville on Facebook. if someone spends 15 hours doing it, we say, guess what, you’re a loser. if you spend 1.5 hours watching a purposeless movie, oh, it was so fun! if you spend a day and a half reading a book that is not enriching, you must be a loser
Tess: yes, you can only invest that must time in High Literature
Brenna: it must be unpleasant and difficult

Tess: Problem solved. Let’s bake cookies.
Brenna: I like cookies.

Our Top Three Favorite Teen Movies:
Brenna: Heathers, Better Off Dead and Donnie Darko

Maggie: 1. Ferris Bueller, because we all need role models. 2. Charlie Bartlett, because it’s nice to see someone’s family more eccentric than mine. 3. Adventures in Babysitting. Because we need the viking hats.
Tess: Clueless: because, like, duh. Ferris Bueller: I can make my hair into a mohawk in the shower, too. Stomp the Yard: Bad. Ass. Dancing. Plus. PATHOS. ❤

So, gentle readers, what are you favorite teen movies? And why?

115 thoughts on “Round Table: The Shame of Reading (But Not Watching) YA

  1. Not a response to the question, but rather a comment on the main point:

    I think you also need to look at the fact that YA is a relatively recent publishing category — a lot of the genre fiction I grew up on wasn’t labeled “YA”, but during the Great YA Expansion, a great deal of it ended up being post-branded as YA now.

    That might be a part of it — adults who loved books which are *now* considered YA, but didn’t used to be, may find themselves pre-disposed towards the category (in a positive sense).

    Anyway — I’m rambling. Just a thought.

  2. I think this is a good point. There isn’t a specific marketing category for “YA movies.” YA has been very purposefully created as a genre, with a specific audience in mind. So it’s a less permeable boundary than so-called “teen movies.”

  3. I tend to like more serious, meaningful teen movies like Juno, Whip It, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Riding in Cars With Boys, the Outsiders, American Graffiti so I would not be ashamed of reading any of those books if they exist, yet enjoy Legally Blonde and LOVE Napoleon Dynamite. Reading fluff teen books would be a little embarassing since a middle-aged woman should be above (and beyond) that. Same with kid books, which I do love dearly. Oh, it’s just so much easier when you have a kid and can steal away her books!

  4. It’s weird, I was very recently a teen (I am 22) and I actually don’t really like teen movies. I always felt like they pretended like they didn’t think I was dumb but in actualitly very much DID.

    And I have to disagree a little bit about Twilight. I really thought they were badly written, almost dumbed down. And the movie (I haven’t bothered seeing New Moon) was horrible. But, at least where I live, the mega fans are preteens, who just don’t know any better (yet) and middle aged women. ALL of the women my mom works with that are around her age or older (she is 43) are complete and utter Twi-hards. I don’t know if it is because they are living vicariously through Bella (ugh, why would you WANT to?) or what it is, but they are ALL obsessed. I am a cashier at Target, and you wouldn’t belive how many middle aged (and I am talking ACTUALLY middle aged) women wear their Team Edward or I Run With Werewolves (the Un-Sam kind) tshirts PROUDLY.

    I don’t know what it is about most other adults or YA books other than Twilight (ie the GOOD ones) that adults are weird about. But I feel like I can’t embrace YA movies for the most part and that YA books are pretty much the only place I DON’T get dumbed down versions of adult stuff.

  5. I think it’s good tht there’s a specific YA category now though, because as me, being a teen (sixteen), I’ll have no problem with with reading YA when I’m older. I kind of think that if youre introduced to it early, then you KNOW that it’s not all shallow and silly and not worthy of your time as an adult. And even if it is, I’ll still know that there’s a chance that I’ll thoroughly enjoy it. I think a lot of adults think “We didn’t have this genre when we were younger; now it’s not meant for us.”

    Did that make sense?

  6. Maggie: I don’t think that is as young as you think. I think it’s the audience that watches Charlie Bartlett. 20s. I didn’t watch Ferris for the first time on my own, I saw it because my parents were watching it for the millionth time.

    Tess: yeah, they were. All the Molly Ringwald movies. though, my friends and I scorned Molly Ringwald bc our mothers loved them.

    Okay, now I feel roolly old.

    Tess: no kidding. Because books are role models. movies are not. books MOLD OUR YOUTH

    Brenna: okay, I think we may have found something

    Tess: movies are sheer entertainment. movies can have bad parents, but books cannot unless it’s an issues book

    Brenna: people are way less forgiving about “trashy” book than movies and when I saw “trashy” I mean what we talked about earlier, anything perceived as being “below” us

    Yeah, I reckon this pretty much hit the nail on the head for me. I remember not being allowed to buy teen books from the book club – they always had to be educational ones. When we could get the teen books out of the library (difficult, because they were ALWAYS out on loan), we fought over them, passed them around and generally gobbled them up. I’d read Judy Blume books in public as an adult, but not those Sweet Dreams romances. :$

    Favourite teen movies: Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Clueless. I like them, because even at my advanced age I can remember what it felt like to be occupied with the sorts of issues that the movies deal with. Actually, I kind of miss my teen years sometimes, so those movies are a bit of a nostalgia trip (Clueless not so much, obviously). Also, although it’s not strictly a teen movie, I like Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.

  7. I will soon be 37, and I have pretty much been reading YA exclusively for the last 2/3 years. In some ways I almost think that adults “forget” that they like YA. I know that has happened to me multiple times. I picked up YA about 6 years ago, when I took a children’s literature class, and we got to go a little into YA, and I was reminded of my past love of YA. A few months later I forgot again. Once Twilight exploded, I decided to read those books just to see what all the fuss was, and I was reminded again of my love. Well I haven’t turned back. I read 2-3 YA books a week, on the train, on the plane and in the car (not while driving). I have no shame about reading the books in public, I think everyone gets to a place when they just don’t care what people think about their choice in reading materials, and once you get to that point and are reminded of YA they will read.

  8. Oh, I wasn’t arguing that Twihards weren’t middle aged women. I just have met dozens who apologize for it. And only one or two who don’t.

  9. So glad you talked about this today. Sometimes I feel like I need to find a YA Fiction Readers Anonymous group, and wear a badge that says HELLO my name is Marisa and I read YA Fiction. I’m 29 and while I do read books for “grown ups” 95% of the time I hit the YA section first. It shouldn’t be shameful! What can I say… I’m just a fan of coming-of-age stories.

    The other day I finished The Hunger Games and my grandpa was curious about it, so I told him the synopsis and he ended up reading the first 60 pages before handing it back to me and saying, “So how does it end?” I was stunned that he wouldn’t just finish it, but he didn’t want to because its a “kids book.” Since I knew he wouldn’t finish it, I just went ahead and told him and he thought sounded fantastic. I just don’t get it. If The Hunger Games were a movie, I don’t think anyone would feel ashamed about going to see it. Same with so many other amazing YA books. *sigh*

  10. Are there YA books you consider non-fluff, that you wouldn’t feel like you needed to steal from your daughter? Or is it YA books in general? 🙂

  11. That’s a good point: that YA didn’t exist when a lot of adults were reading, so it might feel even more overtly like a created thing to be embarrassed by, instead of a naturally occurring genre like teen movies.

  12. I would totally put that pin or bumpersticker on. Heehee.

    Sucks about your grandpa, though. That’s very odd. Esp since HG doesn’t really *look* like a ya book, too.

  13. I guess that was really more my point, in my experience it’s my peers that are more apologetic than older adults about liking it.

  14. LOL – I’m pretty forgetful, too, and can imagine going through phases like this.

    I like to think everyone gets to the point that they don’t care what others think, but am pretty sure that’s generous of us. 😉

  15. I like them, because even at my advanced age I can remember what it felt like to be occupied with the sorts of issues that the movies deal with.

    I find this fascinating because, personally, I don’t have to identify directly with issues in books or movies (I didn’t go to high school, for instance, which would eliminate most YA and teen movies). I just have to be intrigued by the broader premise — like a coming of age arc in a wartorn historical, which obviously is not something I can relate to.

  16. my favourite YA movie is Empire Records, I just adore it:) I’ve never really consciously thought about it as a YA movie before, but it kinda is.

    I love that it’s set over one day, that all the characters–even the adults are disfunctional and that it has an awesome soundtrack and it’s all about the music and the community of misfits they’ve made with the people working there.

    It’s just so…random as well! It’s a really simple plot, but it’s how the characters, though half of them vow they hate each other come together for the common good of the store.

    Plus Deb refers to God as a woman, you’ve got to love that:)

    And AJ is hot!;)

    Not sure if any of you have seen the UK TV series Skins? about a group of teen misfits getting into trouble, partying and a whole lot of stuff they shouldn’t be doing? They recently published a tie in novel and i remember the worry booksellers had (i work at waterstones) because it was catagorised as YA, though the content was as explicit as the show.

    It wasn’t long before the publishers recatagorised it and it now sits in the fiction section (though i’m pretty sure most people who bought it were YA!)

    in the shop i work at i think most customers have gotten over the walk of shame to the YA section as they know at least 3 of the staff read YA and anytime they bring a YA book to the counter I’ve read I get bouncy and excited about it:)

  17. Personally, I walk into a bookstore, and the first section I head to is YA. It’s my genre of choice to read and write, though I’m not sure I can exactly articulate why. Maybe it’s because I still feel like a teen inside, even though I’m 32 on the outside. I make no apologies for it, either.

    My favorite teen movies? I think you hit them all here: Ferris Bueller, Heathers (man, did I have the hots for bad boy Christian Slater), Adventures in Babysitting, Teen Wolf, The Breakfast Club, etc.


  18. I am a 57 year old Christian woman and I really enjoy the YA books for good story telling, and “safe” escapism. I do not want to read pornography, but I want to read a good love/romance/adventure/fantasy story. I read to escape and be entertained, but in a “cleaner” environment than adult romance/adventure books. Some adult books are just too pornographic for me. I have not yet read any of Tess’s or Brenna’s books, but have read all of Maggie’s books that have been released so far (eagerly awaiting Linger) and I have to say I absolutely loved Shiver. I also loved the Twilight books and am not ashamed to admit it. Again, they are just great stories without being “in-your-face” sex books. The teen movies don’t interest me so much as I would rather read than watch movies, and everybody knows that the books are always better than the movies made of them, however, if the book knocked my socks off, like the Twilight books and Shiver, I will gladly watch those movies w/o hesitation or embarrassment. Thanks, Kathy

  19. Favorite teen movies:
    Clueless – it is just so endearing
    Donnie Darko – my husband and I can still discuss it for hours
    Empire Records – I love the characters
    Say Anything – I was Diane Court and I married Lloyd Dobler

    I am 29 and I have to say I just love a well told story. It doesn’t matter to me what the genre is. Lately, the first section I run to in the bookstore is YA. I was probably a bit more defensive about my reading choices in my early 20’s, but now I find it so rewarding when I can convince someone to read YA. I admit I have gotten some strange looks from people when I tell them I am reading young adult urban fantasy, but I get the same strange looks when I recommend Neil Gaiman or Christopher Moore books. I am really glad you brought this topic up though and I do think it has to do with the time factor more than anything. People think of a movie as an activity and reading as an investment. I cannot tell you how many people tell me they don’t have time to read, but they spend two plus hours a night watching television. It is all about your priorities I suppose.

  20. I don’t worry too much about being embarrassed by reading YA–of course, it helps that I’m a middle school teacher. I love the fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian-historical fiction that digs into serious issues, but I also love the light stuff.

    One thing I find interesting is that the same book may be marketed differently in different places. Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief is YA here, but was classified adult when it first came out in Australia. Who decides where and how to market? Why do we let them decide what we will read or not?

  21. Fave teen movies? Those from the 80s! Ferris, Sixteen Candles, um.. um… Better off Dead, and so on…

    I don’t have to find a book or movie relatable to enjoy it. I mean really… how many “poor” people had a nice pink carmagia? Able to live off her part time salary at the record store? I never sang with a blues group to get away from gangsters. So, I don’t need that in my books either. Just a good read. That’s all. So, no… didn’t feel guilty for walking into the library YA section (where I do not look like I belong) to pick up a YA book I enjoy. No paperbags needed. If someone complains, I just ask, “So, what are you reading?” Usually it’s someone who hasn’t even picked up a book in a long time. 😉 Just sayin’ 😀

  22. I have no shame over shopping in the YA book section, but that may be due to having to overcome the stigma of reading sci-fi/fantasy (back when the folks thought girls wouldn’t be interested in the hack and slash or space explosions), and later the obvious disdain – even from my friends – when I was reading romance novels. In all three cases, the broad assumption is that what you are reading is not worthy of your reading time, and in all three cases, the assumption is wrong. Whatever I choose to read is a good use of my reading time, whether it be historical accounts of plague (I’m a huge fan of The Black Death) or a romantic comedy (Katie MacAlister is a hoot!). It does help that I don’t care what other people think of my reading habits. Or, for that matter, any of my other habits. It’s quite liberating.

    I think part of the difference between the attitude towards movies and books stems from the fact that the former was presented largely as a means to entertain the masses, whereas books were once exclusively the purview of the educated elite. It doesn’t matter if people think about the history of the book, because its lofty status is part of a cultural belief. Therefore, reading choices should lead to one’s betterment. Now, I will argue that reading good fiction, regardless of target market, is certainly to my betterment, but I am both educated enough to recognize prejudice and old enough to not feel the need to engage that debate.

    Favorite teen movies: Clueless, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Legend of Billie Jean, 10 Things I Hate About You

  23. the mega fans are preteens, who just don’t know any better (yet)

    I must say that I found this offensive. I will say that personally, I LOVED Twilight, enough that I read the entire series four times. I am one of those preteens, and I’m just wondering what you mean by saying we don’t know any better. Is it the level of books that we supposedly read? Because if that’s it, then that is wrong. Personally, I read books that seem to be for older teens (Looking for Alaska, The Mortal Instruments, Gone, Saving Francesca, etc.) and I was on the verge of obsession for a bit after I read it. Other people my age who have read it and read books like The Clique, The Giver, and Hatchet say that they liked it with a whatever and immediately move on. If you would explain this to me, it would be nice but I still have to say this:

    I was one of the ones that was embarrassed to like it not to long ago. But now I don’t see the point in pretending that I didn’t love it. I know that there are a lot of people out there who think it was stupid, but now I don’t care what they think of me. Just because I like a book that has a lot of screaming fans and a lot screaming critics doesn’t mean that I’m stupid or inexperienced, even if I am. I say that it doesn’t matter how many people look down on me and give me weird looks just because I like a certain book. Stephanie Meyer should be proud that she’s reached such a wide audience.

    Lastly, I’m proud of loving all of my favorite books from YA and children’s. And I’m proud that one day I’m going to write books for the YA section. And I’m proud of being a Twi-hard. And I don’t care what anyone says about that.

  24. Nobody is embarrassed to read Hamlet and he’s all, like, a teenager.

    I read my YA books in public with pride!

    Also, I find it disturbing that Maggie watched Ferris Bueller for the first time with her parents, leading me to make the logical leap that her parents are closer to my age than she is. I think that just qualifies as a midlife crisis, however, and is therefore off topic. 😉

  25. I’m saving this to read for a bit because I know there will be One Million comments and I like to read them.

    I’m not ashamed to read YA books, but I would be embarrassed to be seen with my mother’s romances.

    Why? Cause I’ve read enough that I don’t want anyone to know I read them. (Hey I was living with her and my books were packed) Seriously, I’ve yelled at the “heroines” and authors. The unrealistic and STUPID is epic.

  26. Fair enough. I think I would have been angry at that comment if made about Harry Potter a few years ago (I literally don’t want to say how many because it makes me feel really old and I’M ONLY TWENTY. Oh God…)

    …BUT, I think they’re right about ‘don’t know any better’. I LOVED Harry Potter for years and wore my love with defiant pride. I wore cloaks in public. I had posters all over my room and I wrote 100 000 words of fanfiction. But when I read a section of ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ a couple of months ago (incidentally, my favourite of the series) for the first time I saw how appalling the writing is. And then I started noticing the glaring ethical problems I just hadn’t thought about as a kid because I hadn’t realised they WERE problems (like the totally exclusive elitism of Hogwarts, which is riddled with prejudices over race and wealth, and where the value system is wholly based on the special ‘magic’ trait, which you are born with and cannot earn…)

    And both those observations are the result, primarily, of a lot of education (I’m about to finish an English degree) which is essentially intensive ‘experience’.

    It’s almost a shame, because clearly there is something really engaging about the books – both Harry Potter and Twilight – which knowledge, apparently, completely cuts you off from. It would be nice to be able to enjoy Harry Potter like in the old days, without wincing at every CAPS ATTACK or meaningless ellipsis…. But there you are.

  27. Well, actually, he’s 30 😛 (Act 5 Scene 1….)

    But yeah, he acts like one.

    (What it is, see, is he’s a 16th c. theatre fanboy, and he thinks he’s a revenge tragedy hero, only he thinks too much to be any good as a revenge tragedy hero, who tend to be all action, so he keeps messing up. lol. The hazards of fandom)

  28. OMG 80’s movies were THE BEST!!! I loved Heathers and Ferris Bueller is a classic man! Adventures in Babysitting was another favourite although they renamed it in the UK (WHY?!?) . Don’t forget Mannequin, Splash, The Navigator, Footloose, Girls just wanna have fun (Dance TV), The Lost Boys, The Goonies, Bladerunner, all the Molly Ringwald films.

    Oh *happy sigh* that was great!

  29. I think you girls hit the nail on the head! Although I have to say, I proudly haunt my YA section…most of the best stuff I’ve recently read has come from it.
    (not to mention, most of my writer friends write YA)

    favorite teen movies:
    Heathers, Ferris Bueller (we almost named the baby Ferris) Better Off Dead, the Harry Potter movies

  30. I think you guys are spot-on about the marketing and which medium is more “allowed” to be considered entertainment. (Heaven forbid should a book do something other than teach you morals. *eye-roll*)

    Even though I’m only 21, I still feel weird for shopping in the YA section sometimes. That’s because I grew up with teachers and friends telling me I was too “old” to read that genre. Luckily, strangers are always mistaking me to be 13/14, so I can shop in the YA section without getting any strange looks. XD

    And my all-time favorite teen movie would have to be SAVED, about a Christian girl who gets pregnant when trying to “save” her gay boyfriend. 😛

  31. ‘I got one for you. a reason. where do you find a YA book?’
    Don’t market as YA. I think Star Wars was a teen movie, but it was marketed as, Star Wars! There’s a hero, a bad dude, some reality TV family, escapism.

    Ask for an interview in Cosmopolitan, who interviews Dr Phil? Shiver can be the guest, Dr Phil has some work to do there. Guest author, not YA author. No one called George Lucas a YA writer.
    I think being in the YA market is a stepping stone, not to write in another genre, but to push your book into another market.

  32. GUILTY! Of being slightly embarrassed about reading YA lit. I’ve often asked myself why. My fave excuse reason? Because I’m a psychologist specializing in adolescent development. (True, but L.O.L.)

    But I’ve learned…that there is really, really good YA lit out there and I’m NOT embarrassed about reading those. Recently, I read Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith. Oddly enough, it is marketed as a YA book but I never thought of it as such. It was just a good good good book. And what about Prep, for instance? A quintessential adolescent book, but not “YA”. And to this very day, unto my 30s, I find myself rereading my beloved Anne of the Island. When I was a teen, I read Agatha Christie and Aldous Huxley and P.G. Wodehouse (squeezed in with the contraband Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, lol). So the current “YA” label confuses me.

    So in part, I think it has to do with the labels and marketing. Whether for children, teenagers, or adults, books are well-written or not, they can tell a rolicking good story (or not), they can make you think deep thoughts about life (or not), they can mean something or be utter fluff (well it’s not so black and white as all this but you know what I mean). To be labeled “YA”, however, makes one think that it is for “less mature” readers (you know, them dang teenagers). It boxes books in, just like categories and labels box people in.

  33. I’m sorry that my comment offended. It was not meant to be offensive in any way. I just meant that with more life experience preteens will learn to value different things in writing that I feel Twilight doesn’t posses. Again that’s just my opinion. And I’m very sorry that it offended you because that was NOT my intent.

  34. I understand. I knew that you probably didn’t mean to offend anybody, but then it’s better for you to know what offends for future reference than to accidentally offend someone when it really matters, is it not? And thank you for clarifying on the comment.

  35. Truthfully, I march my butt over to the kids section every time I go to the library either for a movie or book and I feel no shame in this. The kid in us never truly dies; most just try to stifle it because society tells us to.

    When it comes to movies targeted advertising does play a large role in it but I think it’s also because often times the people playing these “young” roles aren’t actually young at all. For example: Twilight’s (since it was mentioned) Robert Pattinson is a 24 year old playing a 17 year old or Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club – he was 25 playing a senior. It makes those twentysomethings and thirtysomethings feel connected or like it is okay for them to be into kids still in high school in a movie because someone in their age range is playing that younger role.

    So my favorites… well being a serious movie dork it makes it hard to narrow it down to just a few, but The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, and Don’t tell Mom the Babysitters Dead stand out a lot. Hmmm… I should probably choose something more recent too (since I’m dating myself a bit)… I suppose I’ll go with something dance-related since I’m a sucker for them, so how about Centerstage, Save the Last Dance, or Stomp the Yard. I’ll be honest though, I also love those parody movies, where they take the best (and worst) of those teen themed movies and make a mockery of them. They’re hilarious to me.

    Ugh. I always have the longest comments. My bad.

  36. Oh poo, I’m supposed to be embarrassed! Oops. Oh well, I guess maybe next time. 🙂 I teach reading to middle schoolers so I do some of my reading as “research” but the rest is because I just get sucked in and just enjoy the book! I figure if nothing else the themes are the same regardless of age and I can find connections to self.

  37. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I agree that it’s all in the marketing. Marking has such an effect on people and most don’t even realize it. I know I fall for marketing techniques. (Like the U by Kotex line. I bought their stuff because they’re wrapped in pretty colors.) I think it’s really stupid that people get embarrassed by what they read.

    I was just googling and i typed “books like” and one thing that came up before i finished my search was “books like Twilight for adults” and I thought, “Why does it have to be for adults? Is it really that different? If you LIKED Twilight and you’re an adult, then you’ll probably like an YA book like it.” and I thought back to this post. It’s pretty much stupid. Read what you like and don’t worry about to what age group it is geared.

  38. 10 Things I Hate About You: snappy dialogue; hilarious awesome adult characters; cute Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Heath Ledger, and David Krumholz (yeah I said it, what?); Pacific Northwest setting; great soundtrack; plus I was likened to Kat/Julia Stiles about a million times in high school. Even my Dad and Grandma thought so.

    Clueless: again with the snappy dialogue, funny/awesome adult characters, great soundtrack, plus cute clothes, cute Paul Rudd, and I love anything with both Donald Faison and Brecken Meyer on principle.

    Drive Me Crazy: After finding and reading Doing Time: Notes From the Undergrad in my school library freshman year I became a huge fan of Rob Thomas’ writing and read all of his books. He wrote this movie. Again with the SNAPPY DIALOGUE. Un-ironic celebration of cruising in your car singing REO Speedwagon, Melissa Joan Hart being a bit tougher than Sabrina, early appearance by The Donnas. The movie as a whole can be a bit lame, but there are so many glorious parts. Now if they would just make a film of Rats Saw God (and keep it in the early nineties, and NOT RUIN IT), I have been directing it in my head for almost a decade now.

  39. I’m 32. I read YA all the time. I feel like I’m at an AA/NA meeting or something! I got a ebook reader for xmas so nobody knows what I’m reading unless their head is on my shoulder.

    I’d seen Shiver several times at the book store and thought it was beautiful but I didn’t want to be caught in that section. ‘Casue that’s the exact time when someone you know will find you and want to say hello and ask about what your lookin’ at. Shiver is the first book I downloaded to my kindle(Lament #2, Ballad#3). Now I don’t care, I hit up the YA section all the time. It’s hard to tell how long/short a book is with an ereader and if I really liked the ebook I’ll buy the paper and ink copy too. Geeks rule! Read on!

  40. – The Breakfast Club: I can identify with all the characters in detention on some level and it really spoke to me when I was young.

    – Clueless: Because again I could identify at some points with all the characters

    – Sixteen Candles: Teenage girl fantasies…

  41. Seriously? Oops! I haven’t read it in 20 years, but nobody 30 should be that angsty. You can see why I remember him as a teen. 😉

    “theatre fanboy” LMAO!

    Still, the point remains. YA is a new phenomenon that labels something that never needed a label, IMHO.

  42. 1. Sixteen Candles- my favorite teen movie of all time, because the geeky characters get what they want in the end in a totally geeky way.
    2. The Moonspinners – because I just wanted to be Hayley Mills growing up.
    3. Fired Up – about two jocks who become cheerleaders. I don’t know. It just cracked me up

  43. This has nothing to do with…um…anything, but I’m digging the “Ariel trying to be sexy on the beach” avatar. Carry on.

  44. My mother is the same way about Harry Potter. When she read the Twilight books and loved them, I thought for sure she’d give Harry a try again, but she says they’re “too young.”

    To get back at her, I needle her unmercifully about the Sharks/Jets scene in the first Twilight movie.

  45. Favorite teen movies: The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Ferris Bueller, and Labyrinth. Does that one count? I’m wondering if the sex god that is David Bowie ruins the teen vibe. But as a nerdly teen prone to wandering around in the woods with books, I loved it.

    You wanna know what chaps my ass? That Will Smith’s adorable son is the new Karate Kid. I mean, he’s a cutie pie and he’s clearly one limber little dude, but he’s twelve and not, therefore, capable of taking up Ralph’s mantle of awesome martial arts awesomeness.

  46. Here’s something that’s got me thinking about your post. Today, I went past the books section in WH SMITH in the UK – in the paperback charts was “If I stay” by Gayle Forman with completely new cover and blurb not ONCE mentioning how old the protagonist was and it didn’t look like a YA book. CLEVER I thought – marketing the same book in a different way to reach an adult audience.

  47. I’m only 19 and I’m still slightly embarrassed to be caught reading YA books, but I am getting more comfortable. The other day, I was in a store with a few of my friends and I inevitably wandered over to the book section. I pulled out a book to recommend to a friend of mine and we ended up spending the next hour discussing different YA books and making plans to swap the books we already have. It was great!

    I love reading YA books because I feel like there’s more to the book than just the main plot in the story. Granted almost every character has some flaw or conflict they’re struggling with, but in a YA novel you have the main plot, usually a love story, and maybe a couple subplots. I might be imagining it, but there’s something about a YA novel that an adult fiction novel is missing.

  48. 10 Things I Hate About You was set in the Pacific NW?! I had no idea! From my memories of it I just assumed it was set somewhere in NorCal.

  49. I agree with others that it’s marketing. If marketing specifically says “This is a YA book,” there’s the implication that “this is therefore not an Adult book, adults have no reason to want to read this book, it doesn’t apply to them.” Which of course is not always true.

    I miss the days when a book could just be a book, like Catcher in the Rye or The Outsiders or something, without anyone trying to figure out how to market it or what slot to put it in. If it’s a great story, people of all ages can get something out of it, right? I understand why it’s done, it just annoys me a little.

    Favorite teen movies: Ferris Bueller of course. Mean Girls is, unfortunately, far too accurate a portrait of middle/high school life, but it is very funny. I…don’t know what else. It’s hard for me to think of others– I never really thought of movies as “teen movies” or “regular movies,” there are just “movies I like.”

  50. Wellllll . . . I would possibly argue against the not needing a label, as the YA book market was the only one that was making increasing sales during the recession. Teens like being able to have a springboard, I think.

  51. This comment is full of much win. The shame of genre reading came up in our pre-conversation, too.

  52. I just don’t go looking in the YA section – last checked, waaaay too full of vampire and werewolf romances, plus overwrought h.s. drama. Even my 13-yr-old is disgusted with the YA section (so far). My oldest brings in the occasional YA goodie, I keep tabs on books recommended by our local indie stores and Publishers Weekly: Graveyard Book, Wintergirls, Book Thief, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, most multicultural YA is pretty good. I’d be happy to buy those for myself.

  53. I agree that booksellers must make a huge difference when it comes to this situation. I’m glad you’re having a positive experience.

    And recategorising – in its first year? Interesting. I wonder if that’s only because it was a TV series and they wanted to reap those benefits, of it that happens often? I’m more familiar with situations where adult books are reclassified as YA.

  54. Teen Wolf! LOL ❤

    YA is my fav section, too. Always the one I find first in new bookstores.

  55. I’m so glad to hear this! Though I’m interested in the label “safe” bc I’d never thought about them that way before… I see the angle you’re driving at though. Interesting! Thanks.

  56. I’m really liking the theory that it’s about the differences between movies and books, not about the books themselves.

    I need to watch Donnie Darko again.

  57. The Book Thief is really great example – it was also in the adult section LONG before it was in the YA section in my bookstore in KS. I had no idea it could be a YA book for quite a while.

    And three cheers for middle school teachers! (I want to say this every time I meet one. CanNOT imagine doing your job.)

  58. but nobody 30 should be that angsty.

    *uh oh, she thinks, as she approaches thirty herself…*

  59. We did talk before the meat of the convo about genre shame in general, and how pervasive it is, and that it’s all about appearances. What other people think of the genre. But this is interesting, since it’s what you yourself think of the genre… Have you read many recent romance books? I’ve read a bunch in the last decade that are really great.

  60. Footloose!

    Lynsey, we should have brought you to our chat so you could remind us of all the movies we were forgetting.

  61. Oh gawd, a baby named Ferris. Tee hee.

    Good point about the Harry Potter movies… I’ve never heard shame about them at all (except the last movie, but that was me because I might have thought it sucked and was embarrassed to at admit it…)

  62. LOL I adore SAVED.

    But boo to teachers/friends telling you not to read what you love.

  63. I’m pretty sure the sci fi element trumped any other marketing brand for Star Wars back in the day.

  64. LOL – great excuse.

    It’s too bad labels are also so good for so many things, so it would probably create more problems than not to do away with them. Alas.

  65. The kid in us never truly dies; most just try to stifle it because society tells us to.

    Yeah! Screw the man!

    I love Stomp the Yard so much. I’m glad somebody else has heard of it. 😀

    (we don’t mind long comments at all!)

  66. I am drawn to pretty colors and shiny things, too.

    Ew, that’s insidious! Stop being insidious, Google!

  67. I’ll have to check out Drive Me Crazy. Thanks.

    If we’d been naming 4 favorite teen movies, 10 Things would have been on my list, too.

  68. Oooooooooo LABYRINTH.

    I think of that one as a kid’s movie, bc I was like 6 when I fell in love with it (and Bowie). But… actually, I think you’re totally right. It has all the hallmarks I look for in a YA book. Maybe edging younger (like MG), but still. Good one!

    That is Will Smith’s son? I have so much love for Will Smith that I can’t really engage with your criticism whole-heartedly. 😉

  69. I love that story about you getting sucked into the YA books with your friends. And am a little sad you didn’t tell us what book drew you there. 😉

  70. Ohhh, Mean Girls. I loved that movie, too. Laughed really really hard.

    I do think it’s important to point out that marketing is so prevalent… because the people in charge of it are so so so good at what they do. Ya know? YA books wouldn’t be as popular as they are without awesome marketing behind them. Like a double-edged sword.

  71. Oh, wow. That was so awesome and brave and what a cool thing to do. Shame on the principal et al for banning it. Thanks for sharing that article with me.

  72. I just fell over from the Bowie avatar. I think you’re my new avatar hero.

    Yep, that’s Mr. Smith’s baby. My love for Will Smith is great, too, but it can’t overcome a twelve-year-old taking over the role of a thirty-year-old playing a teenager.

  73. I think it shows my age, loving that one. (It’s an – ACK – Disney movie.)

    Hayley is a teenage girl who goes to Greece with her aunt for a summer vacation & discovers a 20-ish guy who’s been shot. Turns out he’s a govt agent & she’s the only one who can fix him up & help him get the bad guys. There’s a little hint of forbidden romance mixed in.

    As for Fired Up, for ridiculous scenarios & stupid (yet strangely smart) humor, it can’t be beat.

    As for the whole buying YA books – I think a number of the authors (Maggie is a perfect example) that write YA urban fantasy are far better at writing emotionally moving, well-thought-out stories than some of the very popular adult genre authors. Do I get odd & even hostile looks from teenage girls when I’m browsing the section? Yes. And I’ll be first to admit that being a total geek since the day I was born, those looks have me ducking my head just like in high school because those girls still have the ability to make me feel uncool. It won’t prevent me from shopping the section, tho.

  74. Really? Hostile looks? That’s too bad. I wonder if they think you’re wandering into their turf? Hmm.

    I think I remember seeing part of The Moonspinners now that you say more. I was raised on Disney. Like mother’s milk. 😉

  75. The one thing I can say about both the HP books and movies is that I completely suspended reality for them and honestly, that’s what satisfies me about them the most. I got lost in the story, bad or good. I am very ADHD and have four kids. So where I will DEVOUR a book, I don’t usually sit still and just watch a movie, especially if I am at home. (I’ve watched a total of three whole new movies on DVD this year)I will watch the Harry Potter movies though. (and I sat still for the two Twilight movies, even though I wanted to smack the MC, lol!)

  76. I also forgot about how much I loved Juno and Nick and Nora! (Juno is on my all time favorite movies list)

  77. LOL! We’ve all got the angst, we just have to be all clandestine about it when we get older and feed it with fiction. 😉

  78. I don’t know, you’re probably right in 2010. In the 80’s sales were picking up in YA, but except for a few standouts and classics that I had already read by that time anyway, the young adult section was pretty small. It consisted largely of the Sweet Valley High series and books about Serious Topics adults wrote because they wanted to teach Important Things,neither of which was all that motivating. It’s a much bigger deal now with way more shelf space dedicated to interesting people writing great stories. I guess I just have to flow with the times. 😉

  79. I will admit I have not. Maybe it’s my Mom’s taste not the “genre”. I would read a romance you recommended. Cause I could be all like, this came recommended from a friend who’s judgment I trust.

  80. I agree with the discussions of YA book marketing and the stereotype that reading is or should be “intellectual” while movie-watching is simply entertainment.

    But how about this as a minor reason– we can (and most people do) watch movies in groups but we almost always read alone. It’s so common for people to watch movies that aren’t exactly to their liking because they’re with friends, or out on a date, or with the kids. So you can watch a YA-ish movie and just say that you were doing it to be social. And anyhow movies are “just for fun,” and don’t take much time to watch, and so on.

    You don’t have to seriously defend your choice.

    But when you pick up a book you have only your own tastes to consider. Maybe it helps to be a teacher or parent if you love to read YA– you can pass it off as research of some kind– but a reader has to be stronger and more confident in her choices because she’s generally just reading for herself. (Yet another reason why reading is an amazing builder of backbone.)

    As for teen movies, I was another girl who couldn’t get enough of Labyrinth. And, yes, it was mostly because of David Bowie. And the dress that Sarah wears when she was dancing with him. I know a lady who had that dress copied for her wedding dress and then she and her husband danced to “While the World Falls Down” as their first dance!

    Is Princess Bride a teen movie? I watched it first as a teenager, but I have no idea how to classify it.

  81. Oh, I don’t have to relate directly to the issues to enjoy the book/movie – it’s just that I have an abnormally overdeveloped nostalgia gland, so that always adds a bit of extra flavour to the experience (goes double for anything set in the 80s). I do enjoy the underlying theme of growing up though, very much. There’s something about that awkward no-longer-a-child-but-not-quite-an-adult age that really gets me. I suppose that might be why I like writing stories about that sort of age, come to think of it. Hmm.

  82. There were six or seven books that originally drew me over to the YA section, like HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins and the RESURRECTION OF MAGIC series by Kathleen Duey. I also recommended all of Maggie’s books to my friends!

  83. I, being an eighteen year old, can wildly read YA fiction to my heart’s content. And it makes me happy.

    But I think there’s kind of a social stigma about younger teens reading adult fiction. Because when I was fourteen and fifteen, I was reading V.C. Andrews and Stephen King and Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand). My mom, being a reader like myself, thought there was nothing wrong with it. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.

    I didn’t get a “Should you be reading those?” until the self-checkout machines were broken at my local library and a grandmotherly lady saw what I was checking out in the adult fiction genre. I told her my mother knew what I was reading, and after my mother assured her that I was “very mature for my age” (and innocent looks, most people guess me to be about sixteen), she backed off.

    Of course, I read the mainstream teen books as well. I’m a sucker for vampires, although I once loved Twilight, but now find myself not loving them as much. Maggie, I have all of your books and have loaned them to my book-obsessed friends enough that they are…well-loved. Upon the realization of how small my dorm room would be at college, I bought a Kindle, and Shiver, Lament, and Ballad were the first three books I bought for it.

    And my favorite movies:

    1. Anything Harry Potter, because 1. BRITISH ACCENTS! and 2. Such a good series, and they’ve truly done a wonderful job with the movies staying true to the books.

    2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, because it’s a cult classic, come on. The parade? Classic. Plus, it’s the movie that reinstated the grand tradition of senior skip day.

    3. The Notebook. I consider it a teen movie cause they were so young when they first met. 😀 Romance, aaw!

  84. *grin* Thanks.

    That’s SO interesting about the reverse bias for age/ adult books. I guess I mostly just read my dad’s hand me down books so I didn’t have too many people outside the family realizing what I was reading.

  85. Very clever. And not the first time such a trick has been pulled. They did it with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time too.

  86. This is a really good point — the social versus alone thing! Also, I posited Princess Bride too but they are sort of age irrelevant.

  87. “I read to escape and be entertained, but in a “cleaner” environment than adult romance/adventure books. Some adult books are just too pornographic for me.”

    I’m a Christian, also and I didn’t realize it until now, but this is one of the reasons I enjoy YA so much as well.

    On the issue of being embarrassed to walk into the YA section I’m having a bit of a laugh envisioning a 40-something woman in a trench coat, obnoxious sunglasses and a bowler, hunched over and looking left to right while stealthily nabbing a Maggie Stiefvater book off the shelf.

    If more people ignored marketing ploys and brainwashing, employed their self-confidence and stopped allowing others opinions to define who they are we wouldn’t have this problem.

    Teeny Favs: Ferris (of course), A Walk to Remember and Pretty in Pink (I had a few Duckys myself)

  88. Do you think it’s because someone can give a movie an R-rating even if the main characters are teens, but books aren’t given similar ratings? If Shiver, The Replacement or Blood Magic were given R-ratings and a minor under the age of 17 needed a parent’s permission to read it, do you think it would be more acceptable for adults to read these books?

    Also, I think this discussion taps into an old feminist argument about society valuing things less because they are associated with women. I’ve heard an old clinical psychologist say that one of the key tenets to defining masculinity identity is the rejection of all things feminine and this is why things associated with women are devalued.

    I think some books are often devalued because they are associated with women. I don’t know if this statistic is accurate, but I recently read somewhere that 80% of YA’s market is female. Perhaps people are dismissive of them for some deep-seated Freudian reasons having to do with confused male gender identity? Maybe movies are seen as more masculine because they don’t require as much intimacy with the characters, especially if things are just blowing up and dying on screen.

    Recently I saw Stand by Me, Bad Boys with Sean Penn and American History X on VHS . . . wow . . . how come they don’t make teen movies like this any more? I know that these are all supposed to be “guy” movies, but the acting was amazing and the characters were drawn so vividly.

  89. Well, I dunno about the association with women thing — I’m thinking of Steven Siegel movies and how they are seen as crap because they are very genre. I think anything that is seen as “genre” instead of literary or mainstream gets a stigma.

    I really do think it’s marketing. Look at the Disney “The Three Musketeers” movie, for instance, that was aimed at YAs. Well, nary a YA aged character in it — it’s YA only because of marketing.

  90. I am 32 and every book I have on reserve from the library at the moment is from the YA section. I am not ashamed. I also love teen movies. 10 Things I Hate About You, Get Over It, and Ferris Bueller are my top 3. Some of my favorite TV shows are Glee, Phineas and Ferb, and iCarly. Again, not ashamed.

    Oh, and my 72 year old mother loved Shiver and can not wait until I visit because I am bringing her Linger.

  91. Oh, and BTW, I got in trouble at work because I was listening to Linger (Yes, I listen to books while I am working, I listen to them in the car and when I get home, I read.) and could not stop crying almost from the beginning of the book. It was officially banned from work by my teammates for making me too sad.

    And on another note, my 72 year old mother bought Shiver from the YA section of a book store by a movie theater, with my 50 year old sister, while waiting for their showing of Eclipse to start. Is that wrong?

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