Alice Ozma - http://aliceozma.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/the-teen-scene/ wrote a blog recently about why it is harder to get teens to read then any other group of people, children like to be read to and adults just like a break from the world - my words not hers.
I did comment back and this is what i said -
On August 10, 2011 at 7:14 am Beverley Smith said:
What are teens doing instead? I think one thing they are definately doing is exams. It takes all their time and all their reading space. In the UK exams start at 16 so preparation and study begin at 14 and carry on into their early 20′s if they go onto further education such as college or university.
Also teens are often leaving behind their childhood favourites and haven’t yet established where there likes and dislikes are in the adult world.
Peer pressure. It’s not cool to tell your mates you’re reading Austen. I know my daughter found fanfiction (its a website) i may not like it but at least she’s still reading and occasionally she reads something a little less toxic.
I can’t say that there is anything wrong with my city library, it’s a huge amazing place and is restocked regularly. But saying that, it is being proposed that 65 libraries in the Yorkshire area are set for closure sometime this year. With the cost of just (being able to) liv(e)ing rising buying books is the last thing on people’s minds. In the uk oxfam (charity) stores have been turned into book shops where the books are no more then a couple of pounds.
The other questions – what would bring them back or bring them back for good? Encourage them but don’t hassle them. Make sure there is good reading material around the house. Be a good example and read yourself. Read something they have read and recommend(ed) and give an honest opinion, like it or dislike it, say so and why. As for coming back if they have been well fed to begin with they just do it on their own.
My children are now 18, 20, 22 and 24 they still read, even if it’s not as often or maybe they read what i wouldn’t but it doesn’t really matter what it is (that) they are reading, just that they are reading. Besides not everyone can enjoy Austen and Hardy and there are other good books and authors out there.
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I have one daughter who probably reads more then the others, Bethany and so i asked her what she thought; she said (if i remember correctly and she will tell me if i don't) that she wouldn't have a problem telling her friends that she was reading Jane Austen but i was probably right on the other points. Having reading material just around the house and seeing me read sets the example for her. She does like reading sets of books, such as Harry Potter and Twighlight. As for my reading challenge she as recommended the following -
The Wind Singer - William Nicholson
Journey to the Sea - Eva Ibbotson
The Seer and the Sword - Victoria Hanley
The Two Princesses of Bamarre - Gail Carson Levine
Also she said, if i'm planning on reading any of the Harry Potter's or Twighlight to read the first one of each, partly because i said i didn't want to read a whole load of books by the same author.