Monday, March 11, 2013

Building Readers or Selling Books?

Hey here's an interesting text-cussion (that's a texting discussion, remember how I like pretend words?) that Robyn and I got into the other day.  We were talking about  about what kids read these days.


I just totally made us sound like two old fogeys telling their teenagers to turn down that racket or something. Not what I meant. At all.

It came about after the Indian in the Cupboard post.  We started talking about books we'd read as a kid and older books and stand alone favorites...

Me- Do you think there is a trend now to push new books and series rather than encourage kids to read the oldies?

Robyn- Well, that's where the money is. And I have nothing against series. I love many many series. But I do think its a shame if kids miss out on fantastic stuff from earlier...So, I don't know.  It's probably easier to suggest whatever is popular [and now I'm paraphrasing her words...] than to know what every kid will like that is classic, stand alone, and at their particular reading level.

Me- But some of the new stuff really is so lame!

Robyn- Don't you think there has always been super lame stuff coming out? The thing is, it just kind of fades away for the new lame stuff to take its place instead of passing the test of time like the good stuff...

I mean, we went on (and on and on, really. I practically committed to running for PTA president-- Robyn talked me down.) But, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Do you think kids are pushed too much to read the newest, latest stuff even if it's kind of literary junk sometimes?  

Will those kids end up building a true love for books? Will they be readers as adults and will they have wonderful book memories to share with their own children one day?

Do you think more of the library time during school should be spent on book talks and book selection and finding the right books for the right readers?  

And, while I'm at it, do you think highly commercialized charactery books should be given a back seat in book orders and at book fairs? (I know that is never going to happen, just asking.)

Now, because I know that my foot easily fits in my mouth, I will give my disclaimer, that way you can see that I mean no offense right before you leave your comments.

1- I know there are many very wonderful new series out there! I also know that some of the what I would call the sub par series have gotten many a hesitant reader to jump into books and that is wonderful!

2- In no way do I expect a librarian to have the time, patience or mental capacity to recommend a specific book to every student they see each day.  I love librarians! I'm looking for ways to help them out (I actually have a few ideas about this...hence the whole PTA tremor.)

3- I'm not trying to imply that I am on some pedestal.  We own dozens of charactery commercial books.  I'm just happy we have A LOT of other reading options too!

There, you're not mad now are you? I hope not. Please weigh in, I need to know how irrational I am.    
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