Do we underestimate the reading habits of kids?

“That’s too long.  Kids won’t read that.”

How many times have we thought, said, or heard that statement?  It’s easy to slip into the mindset that kids and even teenagers have short attention spans in this digital, instant gratification, cloud driven world.  With all of the portable technology available, it’s easy to see how you would make that assumption.  But… is it true?

A blog post about the book Steve Jobs asked the question “What teen is going to sit down and read a 656-page biography?”  As she goes on to tell us…lots of them do.  This got me thinking.  Are we wrong? 

Look at some of the titles being read by kids and teens.  Besides the Steve Jobs book weighing in at 656 pages, the smallest book in the Twilight series clocked in at just fewer than 500 pages.  The rest of them were bigger.  The books in the Harry Potter series regularly topped the 500 page mark.  The Hunger Games trilogy when read all together exceeds 1,100 pages.

Watch a younger child when a series catches their imagination.  They will devour page after page in that series.  Currently there are six books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  All together that is just shy of 1,300 pages.  Do you know kids who have read them all?  I do.  And that’s just one.  Think of all of the readers going through every Goosebumps book!

When thinking of a book to suggest to kids or teenagers, don’t underestimate them by not offering a book just because of its size or the length of the series.  Yes, they may reject it…but you may be surprised when they flip it over to read the back and decide for themselves.

But that’s just what I think.  Now it’s your turn!  Have you noticed your kids, students, or patrons reading long books?  What are they reading or what have you suggested?

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