Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Kids Are Saying About Books

by Julia Buckley

At this time of year all sorts of reading polls go up: books of the year, best lists, tips for good writing, et cetera. But mainly we're asking adults these questions. I thought I'd poll my children--ages twelve and sixteen--about their views on books.


IAN (age 16)

What's the best book you read in 2010?'

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
. More accurately, it was one of the only books I read in 2010.

On what form of entertainment do you spend most of your time? Do you still make time for reading?

The computer. Does reading computer font count?

Sort of. What sorts of books will you NOT read?

Twilight
, and the other stuff in that area. Also post-modern poetry.

If you were a writer, what would be your genre?


Horror.

If you could choose between reading a really good book or seeing a movie based on that book, which would you choose?

It depends on the ratio of pages in book to hours in movie. If the book is like 700 pages, I may just watch the movie. If the movie was good, I'll try the book.

GRAHAM (age 12)

What's the best book you read in 2010?

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster.

On what form of entertainment do you spend the most of your time? Do you still make time for reading?

I spend a lot of time on my Play Station 3, but I try to make time for reading.

Hmmm. What sorts of books will you NOT read?

I will read any type of book; it depends on the contents of the specific book.


If you were a writer, what would be your genre?


I would choose adventure, because it's more interesting when there is more excitement.

If you could choose between reading a really good book or seeing a movie based on that book, which would you choose?

It depends on the book/movie, but honestly? Probably the movie.

Very revealing; thank you, Graham.

A recent interview on NPR about the future of entertainment informed me of the fact that everything is changing (which we already knew), and that entertainers and producers will need to decide NOW how they will respond to that change.

In the case of writers, things are becoming more visual and more integrated with other media. My sons' comments (albeit extremely brief) seem to highlight that idea. The book is not always the first choice (although, to my relief, they are both in the process of reading one now).

If we want to see the future, we need look no farther than the young people in our midst. They can tell us exactly what it looks like.

11 comments:

Keith Raffel said...

Julia, please convey this message to Graham from me: You're the man.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Ha! My 13 year old son says the same about "Twilight."

Good point about the future of reading, Julia!

Julia Buckley said...

Keith, I will do that!

Elizabeth, it might be a guy thing, but my son actually restrained himself significantly with his comments. :)

Jessie Chandler said...

Julia, nice idea interviewing the kids! They are our future, and they hold the keys to what will happen with all aspects of life down the rabbit hole. Now that can sometimes be a scary idea LOL

I do think parents can be a huge influence on thir offspring, so great job helping them incorporate books into their life...in whatever form they might take!

Kathleen Ernst said...

Kids are the future--so true! Thanks for sharing.

Vicki Doudera said...

Julia, your children are very diplomatic. My middle son (20 years old) told me at Christmas that he pretty much only reads books that are "important." (He said this after we'd been discussing my next book...)

Is it too late to change the dedication? ha ha!

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Julia,
My daughter gave me the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo trilogy (from my gift list) for Xmas, so I'm looking forward to reading all three books this year.

And Vicki, you should have replied to your son that any book written by a relative is "important"!
- Beth

Alice Loweecey said...

Julia, good family interview! :) My 15yo is into adventure (Hunger Games etc). My 19yo who continually says he "doesn't read" picked up our old copy of Fleming's Casino Royale after watching the movie. Whatever works.

Julia Buckley said...

Jessie, I'd like to think I'm an important influence . . . time will tell. :)

Thanks, Kathleen!

And Vicki, I assume your son was implying that your book WAS very important to him. :)

Julia Buckley said...

Beth, I got the 2nd in the series for Christmas. I enjoyed the first a lot, but it's very obsessively written. You'll see what I mean . . .

Alice, how neat that they discovered an "oldie!" :)

Vicki Doudera said...

I will be interested to hear what you think of the Tattoo trilogy, Beth and Julia. Read them last year and would love to discuss, virtually or at Gin's villa in Italy.