Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

On Ages And Readers

Opening The Times’s “The Saturday Review” a few weeks ago I flicked through the pages on music, film, theatre and games, finally to confront the book section. I love all the other types of entertainment included but why are books always placed at the end?

The double spreads focus was a large photograph of an older-than-middle-aged woman, and I’m afraid that for the second time in that same moment I thought “why?”

This is, I believe, a big reason why we’re having trouble getting young people to read. Most of the time the book sections in papers are full of literary books and older readers, there is little attention given to younger writers, people who kids would identify with more. Now you could say that this is fulfilled online – Alex Bell comes to mind with her blog and huge photo of herself looking fashionable and accessible – but articles online have to be actively searched for whereas papers are quick to flick through.

This is not to say that we should stop conversation with older readers, of course we shouldn’t, but there needs to be a good balance. Half the time you don’t even find thirty-or-fourty-something readers featured. Another thing is the age of the reviewers, they’re all older people too, and to have a look at the internet and the number of younger reviewers there are I can’t help but think that there’s a “positive” discrimination going on against young reviewers in papers. Of course many book bloggers don’t want to write for papers but if there are people who like writing blogs there are bound to be people interested in writing for print.

If we’re to get young people reading more we have to make sure we include their interests in the publications.


No Comments


Comments closed