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Hollywood May Be Inspiring Our Kids To Read Actual Books

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shutterstock_107943275__1372340648_142.196.156.251I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. My face was always buried in a book. I can’t get my teenage step-daughter to read anything – unless it’s a caption under an Instagram selfie one of her friends has taken. That’s why I’m happy to hear that some Hollywood blockbusters that cater to teens may actually be spiking their interests in picking up a book.

From the Encyclopedia Brown series in grade school, to Judy Blume in middle school, to Sweet Valley High in high school, my bookshelves were always full – and I was always hungry for more. To be fair, back in the “olden days” we didn’t have iPhones, iPads, Instagram, Facebook and all the other avenues that seem to be modern-day time-sucks for teens. Books were what we had – so we read them. I’m now sounding like the old fart that brags about how much different, harder and better life was “when I was a youngster.” Oh well. It was bound to happen.

Thanks to Hollywood, our kids are opening books again. Specifically, you can thank Twilight and The Hunger Games for piquing your child’s interest in reading again – that is if they like vampires and science fiction. The Daily Mail reports:

The young adult fiction market is booming, with book sales of £36.1million last year, an increase of 11 per cent on 2011.

The rise coincided with the last outing of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, as well as Jennifer Lawrence’s debut performance in The Hunger Games.

The top ten best-selling young adult fiction books in the UK since records began in 1998 is dominated by three authors who boast film adaptations – Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, Philip Pullman, who wrote the His Dark Materials trilogy, and The Hunger Games writer Suzanne Collins.

I personally think the Twilight movies are awful, but if they are getting kids to open a book – I think I’m a new fan. With all the other technologies that are distracting our children and minimizing their attention spans, it’s not surprising that it takes a Blockbuster film with a Hollywood budget to spark their interest in reading something that’s longer than a Facebook update.

(photo: s_bukley/ Shutterstock)