June 22nd, 2011
When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I am the Young Adult Librarian at the Perryville Branch Library, inevitably I get asked the following question: “Do teens really read anymore?” I think it’s a common fallacy that today’s youth are so wrapped up in video games, social media, and gossip that they no longer appreciate a good book. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Running the teen book club, Book Hook, I’ve found a large group of teens that love to read and know what it is they like and why they like it. Our book discussions are very interesting and the teens always have a wonderful grasp of the material we read. Some of the discussions we’ve had in Book Hook have been in-depth and enlightening, both to myself and the teens participating.
Some of our best discussions have revolved around what other titles we’re reading—the teens are very open and love to talk about their favorite reads and offer book recommendations to others. As a result of their passion for books and reading, I had a talk with my Teen Advisory Board about writing book reviews and recommendations to share on the CCPL website. Although I love Young Adult books, let’s face it—I’m an adult and don’t always have my pulse on the teen scene. I believe this is a great opportunity to see what our teens are reading and what books they think are worth sharing.
It’s no surprise that teens are more interested in reading reviews and recommendations from their peers than from someone like me! If a book is recommended by someone they see as “like themselves,” with similar life experiences and interests, they’ll be more likely to be interested and give it a try. I’m all for it! Whatever it takes, I just want to see these wonderful books get into the hands of our teen readers. In addition, if you’re the parent of a teenager and you don’t read YA books yourself, reading reviews from teens may help you in choosing books for your own teen. And don’t be surprised if you find some that you can’t wait to read yourself!
So I extend the invitation to all you teens, parents, teachers, librarians, etc. out there: Stop by the teen section of CCPL’s website and take a look at the teen recommendations. You may be surprised and inspired to find out what our teens are reading and enjoying.
What is your teen reading?