It’s really quite simple, you should never be ashamed of what you’re reading. It’s you that’s reading, for whatever reason, the books. You shouldn’t draw shame or embarrassment from reading.
With that said, there are many reasons you probably shouldn’t read “young adult” themed books, many of them were raised by @GenXMedia. Obviously “young adult” books are not written to appeal to a more mature audience, that’s evident from the name of the genre. They are written to appeal to people in an age range of 13 to, some say, 21. They don’t employ the same themes or level of complexity that books written for a more mature audience do.
Adults and teenagers are naturally at different stages of development, and require different stimulus to continue their development, but surely reading anything, whether it be Twilight or Shakespeare or anything in between, is more beneficial to them than not reading at all?
Yes, maybe adults reading and driving the fandoms associated with the “young adult” genre may have a negative effect on how publishers and authors treat the genre. And I agree that it is unfortunate this happens, but literature is literature. It is forever evolving. If the current “young adult” genre collapses under the weight of the adults reading it, it will meld with a more mature genre and be replaced by another version of “young adult”.
You should really be reading literature written to appeal to the demographic that you are part of, but you should never be ashamed of what you’re reading.
This was promoted by a twitter discussion based, mostly, around this Slate article.