Last Summer, I did a light post about how much people are reading.
I’ve been reading a lot of reading reports lately, and a lot of press about the reports. The press is depressing, the actual reports don’t paint nearly as dire a picture and I’m working on a post about that later.
A few key things caught my eye today. According to a new report put out by Scholastic Publishing, kids who are high-frequency internet users are more likely to also be high-frequency readers (going online once a day but also reading for fun once a day). Also, 64% of online users ages 9-17 say they participate in activities that extend the reading experience when online.
There is the obvious side of kids reviewing books online and participating in such activities as Reader Girlz, which brings readers and authors together in really cool ways. Or really, just the plethora of authors that can be found on MySpace, and the amount of teen readers who have friended them.
If you ever take a gander at Yahoo! Answers, a good chunk (As of this afternoon, 25%) of the “Books and Authors” questions are asking for book recomendations, with several people chiming in with their favorites.
Then there’s the fan fiction. Remember that old prompt of “write a story based on what you think will happen next” when you were in school? What if you did that for some of your favorite books? Online fan fiction a large community for almost any book, of readers thinking so deeply about a book, they’re writing what was happening between the lines. Or what they wished had happened instead. Some pieces of fan fiction are longer than the book that inspired it!
Have you checked out YouTube lately? Kids are making book trailers for their favorite books, such as this one made by the Irondequoit Public Library Teen Advisory Board for Jenny Han’s Shug. And I can’t talk about YouTube and books without talking about the awesomeness that is Potter Puppet Pals. Yes, puppet shows based on the Harry Potter characters.
And then there’s the flair. Oh, the flair. For those unaware, Pieces of Flair is an application for Facebook where you can make and send virtual buttons. It’s a reference to the movie Office Space. But while as of this afternoon, there were only 294 number of pieces of flair devoted to Office Space, there are thousands devoted to books. I wanted to see how many pieces of flair were devoted to the Twlight series. I stopped counting after 1500. Harry Potter has more, because it has flair about the books AND about the movies. (There is Twilight movie flair as well, but not as much given that the movie hasn’t been released yet.) Some pieces of flair show art from the book, or feature favorite quotations and lines. Some offer predictions on upcoming books, some declare allegiance to certain characters, and some mix books together. Book flair is 4decorating this post! Books or series featured are (from the top) Babymouse by Jennifer Holm, Twlight by Stephenie Meyer, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison, Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.
The internet is changing the way we view books, and I’m not talking about how we read them. I’m talking about how we experience them. Kids and teens are communicating with their favorite authors and other fans around the world. They’re creating extra content based
64 % of internet users ages 9-17 use the internet to go beyond reading. It’s amazing to see, and it’s really fun to take part in.