Joel Stein Thinks ‘Adults Should Read Adult Books’

By Jason Boog Comment

Time columnist and satirist Joel Stein baited the Internet with a controversial New York Times essay entitled “Adults Should Read Adult Books.” The piece compared adult readers who enjoy young adult fiction to “a guy on the plane looking at pornography on his computer.”

The debate has already generated hundreds of angry responses on Twitter. We’ve collected some of our favorite replies below–is it satire or not? Here is an excerpt from the curmudgeonly post:

I have no idea what “The Hunger Games” is like. Maybe there are complicated shades of good and evil in each character. Maybe there are Pynchonesque turns of phrase. Maybe it delves into issues of identity, self-justification and anomie that would make David Foster Wallace proud. I don’t know because it’s a book for kids. I’ll read “The Hunger Games” when I finish the previous 3,000 years of fiction written for adults. Let’s have the decency to let tween girls have their own little world of vampires and child wizards and games you play when hungry. Let’s not pump Justin Bieber in our Saabs and get engaged at Cinderella’s Castle at Disneyland. Because it’s embarrassing.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post did not identify Stein as a satirist, possibly missing a joke nestled among serious essays.