books aren’t just what we do, they’re who we are

Young People Do TOO Read!

thumb_pinkI shared this on Twitter, but it’s awesome enough to require additional reposting. Lili Wilkinson, author of Pink, responds on her blog to an article that says, in part:

TEENAGERS are not like us. They grunt rather than converse, slouch rather than walk, sleep till noon and their preferred dress is grunge—any black T-shirt featuring gross green slime dripping from a skull will do. They don’t read, don’t pay for music, don’t listen to adults and don’t care about Twitter.

I call bullshit, of course, but Lili does it much more politely. In part:

You’re wrong when you say young people don’t read. Really wrong. In Australia last year, six of the top ten bestsellers in ALL genres were young adult fiction titles. In the US, Borders is ditching their music/DVD sections and replacing them with sprawling teen sections to capitalise on the enormous boom in young adult fiction. Last year, booksales as a whole dropped 4.7%, but YA sales were up 13%. Our website gets thousands of visitors a day, young people desperate to talk about their favourite books. Young people respond creatively to the books they read, with fan fiction, art and music. They love literature so much that they want to spend more time with the characters they love.

Read the whole thing.

What intrigues me (maddens me?) about the article in question is that the author’s entire basis for saying teenagers don’t read is his 15-year-old grandson and an article in the Financial Times that very specifically says teens don’t read newspapers. Well, hell, I don’t read newspapers, either. But no one’s saying I don’t read books, are they?

Argh. Anyone else feel like sounding off their frustration in the comments?

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