But this simply isn't true. You have book fandoms, the creative world of fan fiction, online forums, blogs dedicated to a book series... The possibility for teenagers to get excited about reading has dramatically increased since the Internet has come into its own.
I asked one of my best friends and contributor to my blog, Kendal, why she loves reading so much. She is in her mid-teens, so I thought she would be a good representation for a lot of teens who are excited about reading. She said the following:
"I read because its an escape from whatever is happening in my life. Books offer stability in a way. No matter of your personal world is crumbling the characters you read about are still falling in love/fighting for good/overcoming something and I find that a really comforting thought."
I think this is a really good point to make. Teenagers have to cope with so much, and I'm not just talking about hormones. Bullying is always on the rise, and if schools around the world are anything like mine then nothing often gets done about the bullying going on there. Aside from that there is the stress of increasingly harder exams and more homework piling up, and friends don't always act like friends a lot of the time.
For people who go through all of that and more, reading is the perfect escapism technique. Teenagers can bury themselves in a book and get lost in the story, which for a brief moment allows them to forget their real problems. And in today's society, I think a book is a very positive thing for teens.
So a note to authors: when writing your young adult book, think of this. Is it successful in providing escapism? Maybe you could add this to your list of criteria.
Just a thought,
The Book Critic x