Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why Aren't More Teens Reading for Fun?

Here is some disturbing data from Nielson Book.  The question  to deal with is this:  Will the trend continue and what, if anything, can be done to reverse it?

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)More teens say they don’t read for fun today than any time in the past three years, according to new data from Nielsen Book, presented at Launch Kids at Digital Book World 2014 in New York recently.
According to the Nielsen data, 41% of teens now say they “don’t” read for fun. This number is up from 21% of teens who said that in the fall of 2011.
The survey was conducted among children aged 13 through 17.
The good news for book publishers, according to Nielsen’s Jonathan Nowell, who presented the data, is that the “children’s book market is resilient” and that it’s not that teens won’t resume their love of reading as digital books gain adoption — it’s just that they haven’t done it yet.

On a personal note, I have found in talking and working with young and older teens is this:  Outside of having to read literary assignments, they are reading blockbuster books, such as Hunger Games, 13 Reasons Why, and The Twilight Saga. 

Many teenagers tend to wait for the film to be released and would rather view the movie than read the book. A difficult trend to buck, it is what's occurring nationwide.

What can be done?  As parents, we can model and value reading for our teens.  While I realize we do not have as much influence as when they were younger (a totally natural state of affairs in the maturation process), we do have more than one might think.  

Take your teen to a bookstore on a regular basis.  There's nothing like the enticement of something new, and books can and should fit into that category.  

Listen to your teen when s/he talks about a book they're read or planning to read. Validation is a super tool in your box of parenting skills.

All you have to do is plan your strategy if your teen isn't reading for fun.  Good luck to you and your teen reader!

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