"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, August 1, 2011

Top Ten Trends in Literature...the good and the bad

Hosted at The Broke and Bookish
Trends in Literature...the good and the bad
(This list is based purely on my own observations.  No actual research has gone in to the creation of this list!)

The Good
1.  Great authors are writing and publishing wonderful YA novels.  When I was in high school there were very few authors writing for the 15-18 year old age group.
2.  E-Readers have generated a renewed interest in the classics because many of them can be downloaded for free.
3.  YA authors are writing books in series which brings kids back to the libraries and bookstores to get the next book and generates enthusiasm for reading in general.
4.  Lots of YA books cover very tough topics.  Reading books about teenagers dealing with and overcoming challenges can be very comforting for kids who are experiencing similar problems.
5.  Libraries are as popular or more popular than in years past as they embrace technology and find ways to serve their communities.

The Bad
1.  E-Reader popularity is at least partially responsible for book store closures. I fear that soon the only place left to browse for books will be libraries which often cannot afford the latest books on every topic. And publishers may not actually publish books if there is no place to sell them.
2. YA authors are writing books in series!  It is impossible as a librarian to keep track of the next book in each series and often times readers will outgrow or lose interest after the 5th, 6th, 7th, etc. book in a series.  Authors:  use Hunger Games or Twlight as your model and limit series to three or four books!
3. So many YA books cover tough, serious topics that it is hard to find the fun, silly, lighthearted books that some kids, mostly boys, crave.
4. Paranormal romances are hijacking good-ole normal romances. I must admit I'm pretty sick of vampires, zombies, werewolves...but whatever gets kids reading.
5.  Teachers often ignore the books in the library when assigning research projects in preference to the Internet.  Argh.  It is so frustrating! Why not use both?


15 comments:

  1. I had the eReaders on my good/bad list. I hate to see the Brick and Morter stores closing (especially since one of the reasons I got my nook was that it came with a store). Bookstores are used for so much more then just selling books!

    I do agree on the YA front. I remember reading some YA when I was younger, but it was nothing like the section in my library now!

    Great list! Lots of good points!

    Thanks for participating in TTT!!
    Julia from The Broke and the Bookish

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  2. There's always good and bad to eReader popularity and YA authors writing in series. Yes, we have more access to even more books, but at the same time we're losing our physical books and the stores that supply them. ^^; YA authors should probably try to limit themselves rather than write series. I like it when they settle on a trilogy, quartet, or quintet. How long can they expect to hold a teen's (or an adult's) interest?

    Excellent list and thank you for sharing!
    ~DJL
    DJ Librarian Dishes

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  3. I have a love hate relationship with my ereader. I like how I can get free or cheap books on it but I absolutely hate how they are partly to blame for stores like Borders closing.

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  4. The paradox you mentioned (love the tough topics YA deals with, but wish there was occasional lightness, too) is at the heart of the wisest of our thoughts here: it's always a love/hate relationship, I think.

    Here's my Top Ten list for this week:
    Top Ten Trends You'd Like to See More Of
    I hope you will stop by and join in Readerbuzz's August Giveaway!

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  5. Love your list and how you've shown the good/bad sides of each issue!

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  6. I agree with so much of your list. I think it's great you included e-readers/e-books in both sides of the argument. It shows one point of how great they are and another point of how detrimental they can be.

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  7. I've wondered about books that teenage boys would enjoy. There seem to be an influx of YA books for girls but not boys. It's too bad really.

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  8. I love that reading is an okay hobby for teens to have nowadays. It wasn't when I was a teen.

    http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/2011/08/top-ten-tuesday-aug-2.html

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  9. Nice list. I especially agree about the paranormal and the series. :)

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  10. I like how you pointed out the pros AND cons of certain trends, such as series or tough topics.

    I understand your concern about teachers assigning internet research instead of book research. Personally, I wasn't very familiar with the library at the school I just finished student teaching at. It was also hard to find enough books on a topic at the right reading level and containing current info for all 30+ of my students to work at once. With the internet, a teacher can recommend sites that have varied reading levels, lots of figures, and the students can view them in class, in the media center, or at home... or even on their cell phones! Perhaps finding a way to directly connect teachers with quality books would make it easier.

    I'm starting at a much smaller school with a big literacy focus this year, and I hope to change the way I use books in the classroom. With a class size of 16 students, it will be much easier to provide enough books. Finding the right content and reading level will still be a challenge though!

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  11. Allison, Thanks for commenting on my blog about use of books in the library verses the Internet. I know it is a challenge to find enough books for every kids, but I work pretty hard to have a variety of resources for my students if I know about assignments ahead of time. When I was writing the Top Ten list I was specifically thinking about the English teacher that had the kids using the Internet to look up poems rather than utilizing the fantastic poetry books that I have. But often I buy books as resources and kids will use them if the teachers require that they use at least least one book for their report. I try to work with teachers and students to make the learning experience optimum for all.

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  12. Great list. Increasingly libraries aren't able to keep up with these growing series, especially with budget cuts.

    You have a lot of good stuff in there. Great post.

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  13. I wasn't inspired enough this week to creat my own list, but I can now sleep well knowing my thoughts are well represented on your blog! Great list and have a great week!

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  14. Nice list! I'm really on the fence about eReaders. On one hand they're awesome because you can "carry" a ton of books with you, and you can get lots of free books. On the other hand, though, part of me is really nervous about "owning" a book, instead of owning it. I'm crazy-sensitive about censorship, and I don't like the idea that a publisher can "recall" my copy of a book. I see the purpose behind it (copyright infringement, etc.) but a big part of my brain is screaming, "Beware Big Brother!" : /

    Yea, lots of series going, even in adult fiction. It's kind of frustrating.

    I've been busy this week, so I couldn't check out peoples' lists until tonight. Here's my TTT for the week. Happy reading!

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  15. Great, thoughtful list, as usual, Anne! I agree with everything you've said here. I didn't have either the time or energy on Tuesday to make my own list, but I did think about it.

    I totally agree about series. I know they help get kids reading more - I've seen it with my own reluctant reader! It's like music to a mom's ears to hear a kid who normally won't read finish a book and say, "I have to read the next one!"

    BUT...the trend to write in series is also driving me crazy. I will read a book I enjoy only to find out it's #1 in a long series...and I already have more books I want to read than I can ever possibly get to!! It's just too much pressure. Whatever happened to good, stand-alone novels?

    The paranormal romance trend has also gone way too far. And, though I hate to say it, it looks like Hunger Games has set off a Twilight-like copy trend. The latest kids/teen book catalogs I saw had page after page after page of dystopian novels. I enjoy dystopian plots (more so than paranormal romance!), but reading the descriptions of these new books, one after the other, I could barely tell them apart and had no idea which ones to chose to read. Too much of a good thing.

    Thanks for giving me a chance to express my opinions, even without my own list!

    Sue

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