Will readers completely die off?

For many years people have been predicting the death of literature because the stats on the reading public  show fewer and fewer books are being sold because fewer people are reading. For an author it’s a bit depressing. However, you might find this article provides some hope: http://www.newsweek.com/id/136961.

Generation R (R Is for Reader)
The book business may be flat, but there’s at least one bright spot: the booming sales of books for teens–and no, it’s not all Harry Potter… Contrary to the depressing proclamations that American teens aren’t reading, the surprising truth is they are reading novels in unprecedented numbers. Young-adult fiction (ages 12-18) is enjoying a bona fide boom with sales up more than 25 percent in the past few years, according to a Children’s Book Council sales survey…”

If that trend holds, it means we’ll have a fine wave of readers to replace all of us who die off, and then some. Someone praise JK Rowling for Hogwarts and for awakening pleasure reading in the hearts of children (and adults).

And take it as a lesson. The future is in the next generation. Perhaps reading provides just as much entertainment as anything else. The kids just have to discover it.

Hopefully, Nellie will be doing her part to awaken that joy in the hearts of the marvelous youth of our small town. As I wrote before, she’s going to be following the steps of Nancie Atwell who has done amazing things for 20+ years up in Maine.


It’s all about reading and writing for the intrinsic joy of reading and writing. Only 15 minutes of her 65 minute class will be spent in traditional lecture. The rest is for the kids to read and write. This isn’t study hall. It’s rigorous. And again, it follows the principles I learned in my last 20 years of teaching and learning how to write.

I cannot wait to see what happens this fall!

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