The Newsest Bookworms

November 17, 2001 

Speaking of books, here’s a hopeful sign: Teen-agers are reading. Really! So says the Wall Street Journal, which reports Americans 25 and under are buying books for their own enjoyment at a rate three times faster than the rest of the overall market. Now the Journal does temper the news a bit, and we must pass it along as well. Youngsters aren’t necessarily focusing on Faulkner and Hemingway; Confessions of a Shopaholic is a teen staple in some circles. And even if they are buying serious stuff, they don’t necessarily read it, using books as a fashion statement, like a backpack or jewelry.

Still, book reading is a terrific habit, however shaky it may be for some kids. “It’s a backlash against MTV culture,” the Journal quotes sociologist William Strauss. To which we say: hallelujah…and read on!