The Death of Books? I Know, I'm Never Seen Without my Kindle

What are people on about? Teens don't like reading? Books are dying out? This is my response, 797 words for The Huffington Post competition. Enjoy, and I hope you agree. :) Likes and Favs welcome!

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1. The Death of Books? I know, I'm never seen without my Kindle

                Firstly, it’s not that Teens don’t read: it’s the amount of rubbish which adults push at us - Television and Games Consoles being a perfect example - that we simply don’t want to read much. Many also wouldn’t rate the literature that is produced for Teens: I personally haven’t set a finger upon ‘The Hunger Games’ or any more than the first book in the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series, Teen Vampire Romance doesn’t appeal, and who can remember the name of that girl who fell in love with the werewolf? Of course, I like classics, and other Teens like these modern books and it is true: they sell, but very rarely do I rate a book written after the late 60’s as ‘good’.  I don’t think the problem is that Teens are forever glued to a television screen; they just don’t know everything that’s out there and the so called ‘inspiring’ adults aren’t doing anything about it.

                Instead, Teens who are keen readers and writers, are banding together in their last hope to enjoy Teen literature. We sit, glued to computer screens, holding debates as to whether Shakespeare or Hardy is the King of literature, and whether Jane Austen is the Queen, or just giving a couple of hundred years warning of the great Agatha Christie to come. We hoard stacks of classics and popular fiction in our bedrooms, often described as ‘an awful lot’, and that is no understatement. We pour through the great playwrights and poets in class and do background reading for homework. How can teens that are forced to know ‘The Tempest’ inside out be ignorant of great British literature? The opening ceremony of the Olympics proved our knowledge, with half the nation quoting along with J.K. Rowling on top of a model Glastonbury Tor.

                With that misconception to one side, I feel I ought to properly introduce myself. My first recorded story is about Sam and Pam. I develop the characters with great sophistication, sending them off to town to buy a new frying pan. I even add in a twist when Sam suddenly falls into a puddle, leaving the reader perplexed and disheartened, as satirical Pam rushes off with the brand new frying pan under her wing. Obviously, I was about five at the time, and ever since, I have been sieving through my sentences, adding in the correct punctuation, delving into the atmosphere and creating believable relationships between characters. I have been helped along the way: mainly by reading an enormous number of books - every week, a new one is shoved into my hands - but more recently, by mixing with other bookworms and writers my age.

                In which case, Adults complain about our addiction to the World Wide Web, when we are, in fact, doing something constructive. Every day, the moment I am home from school, I find myself unable to leave ‘movellas.com’, a Danish originating website, designed for Teen writers to read, share and help each other. This is no lie. I happily spend my whole weekend on there, being creative, critical and chatting to young people from all over the world, all who share the same passion as me. I cannot begin to express the warmth of this environment. The site administrators caption us as ‘The Voices of Now’ which is completely true. Maybe have a poke around there yourself? In the depths, you will find the largest range of fiction and nonfiction, the most number of styles and widest range of ability.

                How can you therefore say that Teens aren’t passionate about literature? I regularly involve myself during a school break time in deep discussion with students several years my senior, about literature coursework, book suggestions, and even watching youtube videos of rather attractive poets reading their poetry in the most beautiful voice. I never feel more proud than when I am waltzing around school, several books and a Kindle under my arm, comparing models with people I hardly know, and telling a teacher my opinion about a particular book. That is what gives me my pride and confidence.

                I don’t know whether 100% of the teen population would agree with me, but neither will none agree with me. However, I can assuredly say this: books are not a negative experience for any Teen, we adore and admire them! Maybe not every young person will be able to tell you how the symbolism in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has affected society today, but they will at least acknowledge the pure brilliance of what is out there. They will appreciate the thousands and thousands of unexplored worlds, hidden within page after page of delicately scented paper. And after all, when you’re a teenager with your whole life ahead of you, what’s more exciting than an adventure?

 

- Annabel Green, 15

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