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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

 

Larry McMurtry Said What?

It sounds like 72-year-old Larry McMurtry might want to begin stocking a few JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer books in his bookstore, or maybe talk to a few librarians before he starts condemning book culture.

The accomplished author, best known for his book "Lonesome Dove," told the Houston Chronicle recently that he doesn't see kids reading, a matter that has him so concerned he worries it's the end of book culture.

Here's a snippet from the interview:
I’m pessimistic. Mainly it’s the flow of people into my bookshop in Archer City. They’re almost always people over 40.

I don’t see kids, and I don’t see kids reading. I think little kids love to have stories read to them, but when they get to 10 or 11 or 12, they run into this tsunami of technology: iPod, iPhone, Blackberries.

They don’t resist it, and it’s normal that they wouldn’t; it’s their culture. I’m not so sure they ever come back to reading. Some will, but most won’t.

But the American Library Association suggests the opposite is true.

In July of last year the ALA boasted that "teen books now enjoy unprecedented critical success and popularity."

Here's a little more from the ALA:
Teen literature is in its golden age. The most highly anticipated book of 2008, “Breaking Dawn,” is aimed at young adults, with teen books taking up many spots on best-seller lists from USA Today and Amazon.com, among others. Many adult authors have begun writing fiction for teens, and book editors and librarians across the U.S. agree that literature aimed at young adults is better than ever. As overall book sales stagnate, young adult publishing is a bright spot; a 2008 article in Newsweek says sales for books aimed at those ages 12-18 have increased more than 25 percent.

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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