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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boys don't read... crappy books.

There's a lot of response to how horrible a recent NY Times opinion about why teen boys don't read. A lot the response seems to think this article is bashing women.

I call BS. Women have- at least in the last couple of centuries- ALWAYS had female authors to read. The list is LONG. Anyone under 40 grew up reading them alongside male authors all throughout school. From To Kill a Mockingbird to Sense and Sensibility (and even Ethan Frome!) there is no shortage of women authors being taught- when the work is good. Also, it's incredibly hypocritical to say that women suffered through having to read books by men about men- that they can't relate to or don't want to- and then complain that a man might complain about the same thing in reverse! (does it matter who wrote the book if it's great? NO. So, why complain about it?)

Boys' ya fiction is bad- almost without exception- and I mostly recommend that they skip it altogether and go straight to "adult" books. I do the same with girls' books. Basically, they're romance novels- and are VERY OFTEN poorly written. When recommending books, if they aren't going to read adult books because they don't read, then they are a lost cause and they should stick with manga.

Also, let's look at the crap adults read. (other than twilight- which they do. That is the shittiest prose I think I've ever read. EVER. Had to quit it early because the fact that she made millions why being so bad at her job made my head hurt.) Romance novels? Detective novels? Romance novels sold as detective novels (I'm looking at you JD Robb/Nora Roberts)? Dirk Pitt being "co" written? How many James Patterson (with someone you've never heard of) books can be put out in a year? Star wars novelizations? Nicholas GD Sparks? I'm not going to go on anymore because it will make me cry.

Sorry, got a little off topic. The point is, most books are bad. That's a bottom line truth- ya or not, girls or boys. Also, this is a market issue. The reason we need more boys to read is because we need more boys to buy books! It's like half the market is there for the taking- or so someone thinks. Maybe they just need to start making better ya nonfiction? Or quit caring and tell them about good books to read, regardless of age or author.