Young people reading less
A week ago I was in New York City on a business trip. While I was eating a burger in Central Park and enjoying the beautiful day in Manhattan, I thought about the agent I was still waiting to hear back from. Funny how thoughts can trigger actions. Friday when I checked the mail, I got the second rejection letter. And it was postmarked the day I was in NY. Strange, isn’t it? But I am not discouraged and will continue to send out queries and sample chapters. After waiting so long on this last one, I think I will send out more than one at a time. These folks are very busy and odds are they won’t all clamor to sign up Wretched at once.
I read an article today in the Boston Globe that goes along with a study I read years ago while part of Deep Magic. Looks like the trends are getting worse. The article is about how much less young people are reading today. Here is the link:
- Only 30 percent of 13-year-olds read almost every day.
- The number of 17-year-olds who never read for pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.
- Almost half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 never read books for pleasure.
- The average person between ages 15 and 24 spends 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day watching TV and 7 minutes reading.
Disturbing, isn’t it? The publishing industry is the victim of the digital age. I wonder in how many years the ability to read and digest information will be seen as a skill to have. I also can’t imagine a world without books. Movies are great, but they still cannot fully immerse you in someone else’s imagination for very long. All I know is that I want my kids to read and they stand a better chance if they see me reading.
And speaking of which, they’re finding me reading the work of new author Stephanie Meyer (author of Twilight). I’d heard so much about it being all the rave with teenage girls (it’s a vampire love story) that I wanted to analyze it from a writer’s perspective. It was a good book, but I can’t imagine teenage boys giving up their video games to read it. Not a chance…