I spent a lot of time in a very good bookstore yesterday searching for a suitable book to encourage my seventeen year old son to actually read. He seems unhappy to pick up a book (or even think of reading a book on an ereader- I tried offering a gadget!) He exists with words read only from short onscreen articles (a quick wiki search, for example) or from onscreen games (tactics, etc). His current education, which doesn’t actually include English as a subject (he chose other A levels) is suffering from his lack of word knowledge which should be helped if he actually read the written word more. I know he is not alone in his lack of interest, having asked friends how/what their teenage boys do and also from being in more than one bookstore lately and interrogating the staff.
Why is there a complete lack of inspiring books for teenage boys/young men? Why do so many boys give up on books at this age? Is it that other things takeover (specific school work, computer games, girls?!) For my son, I count the quantity of school work (though surely he should have been encouraged to read books off the curriculum to become a well-rounded adult or even just because they can be fun?!) There is a massive gap in this book market – who do you know who’s going to fill it and how? Maybe I will try myself, though this could be a huge challenge as I have never been a teenage boy …
As a little boy my son just couldn’t get enough books, stories and facts, he craved stories we made up, he even wrote his own. What happened? He became a teenager and perhaps we took our eyes off the ball. I am a great book lover, so is hubby, we blames ourselves in part. There is nothing much out there that screams ‘read me’ to your average British teenager, from what I can tell. We have a couple to try but look forward to finding more, going down the route of ‘interesting facts’ rather than ‘here’s a huge novel, you have to read it!’.
There was one book I liked in particular, seeing as I am a knitter …. something along the lines of ‘Boys Don’t Knit ….’. It made me smile but I think it would have to be a very specific boy to actually read this one. I guess the message there was ‘it’s ok to be different and not fit in with your peer group’. I wonder how sales of this one have gone so far…. Hubby thinks there was a huge pile of these still in store for a reason!
Wish us luck. Anyone with a teenage son will understand why I might need it.