01-23-2011 08:02 PM
Just recently I was at a local bookstore looking for books on a “teen reading level”. Most bookstores have a designated teen aisle so I walked over and started to browse through the titles. I was surprised at what I found. Almost all were fiction with a sadly twisted plot. Most had some reference to vampires, blood or lost love gone wrong. Furthermore there were no books that could have helped prepare teens for the oncoming step into to adulthood. There were no inspirational books or books of information, politics or decision making. There was nothing to help teens prepare for the future, nothing that would help equip them for the important decision making required of them as adults.
Based on the current path of society I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. But I had to ask myself, how did we get here? What went so dreadfully wrong? Were we ever expected to do anything more than what most of us are required to do now which, let’s face it, is just about nothing. Make our bed, do an occasional chore, and get decent grades in school is just about all. It seems like even less when we compare it to what we could be doing with our amazing God-given potential. What we are expected to do is less than young adults were required to do only about 50 years ago.
01-24-2011 04:33 PM
I don't know if you have the chance to hang around teenagers these days but I think you'd be surprised. Yes, it seems like the majority of teen books have vampires in them.. but then again, so do a lot of adult books. Yes, the books may seem frivilous but with all the demands on a teenagers time, getting them to read for pleasure at all is hard to do.
As far as inspirational books, books on politics or decision making skills... what teen would want to read those? I sure never did when I was a kid (don't want to now either,:smileyhappy). Kids these days are much more wordly than we ever were. Don't discount them by what is written for them.
I work in a high school / public library and I have a teenage son, so I get to see firsthand what they're up to. I've realized I'm way out of the "cool" loop but working with kids sure keeps you current.. good and bad.
01-24-2011 11:18 PM
To be honest about it, with the rise of popular video game and the massive marketing drive to get the dollars of the teenagers is there any wonder that books on vampire, love, etc are popular with teens? Publishing is a business; and like any business most are in the business to make money not raise social consciousness or political awareness.
I am guilty of writing teen books (minus vampires and werewolves) and I do enjoy it. One reason it's like remembering some of my happy times as a teenager and it also allows me to exercise my creative imagination.
As a matter of fact I would say that my last couple of eBooks have been geared toward a younger audience to also garner some of those dollars and increase my popularity as a writer. Like I said in one of my previous posts, I'm a screenwriter by trade who hopes to one day see my work in films; the truth of the matter is who actually goes to the movies and buys those tickets? So wouldn't it make sense to write about things that interest the audience? I don't know too many teens who are interested in having their consciousness raised right now. I have to agree with with cork_dork_mom. lololo
01-25-2011 08:18 PM
I totally agree with you on the aspect of enjoying reading a good book, i happen to be 14 myself, but i think that what is expected of us these days is far too little. The teen years are an opportunity to have fun but they are also an opportunity to get an amazing head start on our lives as adults. We should use these years as a time for getting ready for adulthood not just goofing off.
As for the popularity issue, i know that inspirational books are not popular among teens. But why? Is it because we are not expected to understand the topics, or care about anything but goofing off? Do we not think the information worthwhile? Or have we been influenced that reading books that could help us get a head start when we reach adulthood is not worth the effort it takes. You can not become stronger in any area of your life without effort. You mush step outside your comfort zone in order to achieve something more, in order to grow. If you always do what comes easily to you, you will never grow in other, important, ways.
A favorite story of mine is one of a teen named David. During high school David had a chance to take advanced geometry classes but he was afraid he would fail, so he didn't. The next year he had a chance to take a trip to Kenya to fight hunger. But he was afraid he would change his mind half way there, so he stayed home. A few years later he was offered a scholarship to Hartford, but he was afraid that he might not like the classes, or the environment, or the teachers. So David stayed home. Now David has not done any thing hard and he has never stepped outside of his comfort zone. He has never really failed, but he hasn't succeed either. He did not know what he could have gained because he was afraid of it.
David also never understood why he should read books of insight or guidance. After all every one he knew didn't read books like those. They were outside what was expected of him, and why put the effort into reading books when he might not like the topic, or the view of the author. he never even read books for fun because he might not like the plot of the characters.
David is like most of us. if its hard, why do it? what if the book teaches me something I don't care about? Even though it could change me in good ways, why go the trouble if i might not like it?