Who Will Protect Teens From This New Obsession With Book Reading?
from the whatever-shall-we-do? dept
If you look at a lot of the fear-mongering stories about children and video games, one of the big ones is the idea that kids are just sitting around getting fat playing video games, rather than going outside and getting some exercise by playing. Of course, it might make you wonder why the same fear mongering doesn't show up when the news comes out that the crazy kids today are reading more books than ever before. This may actually surprise a lot of people, who would assume that in this day and age of multiple entertainment options, from TV to movies to game consoles to (of course) the internet and iPods that books would be one of the first things to fall by the wayside. Instead, however, teens are apparently buying books in record numbers -- with sales of teen targeted books up a whopping 25% since 1999. Of course, as with things like movies, it sounds like quality is playing a big part in this resurgence. The article quotes people who say that teen-targeted books are a lot more sophisticated and well written than in the past -- though don't give much of an explanation for why that is. One possibility could be that we're all exposed to a lot more text these days thanks to the internet. While a child in the past might never need to read very much, with the rise of email, instant messaging and social networking, text really has become important, and with that, kids are less scared off by the idea of reading anything, including books. So much for those theory that IM and SMS was going to ruin kids' literary skills. A second possibility, of course, may simply be that books are more widely and easily available thanks to the web. Kids simply view books as yet another media type to add to their huge appetite for media, and the ease of getting books means that more books are bought.