Contrary to general perception that kids spend little or no time with books, almost all the authors we put forth this question to were of the opinion that the interest of Gen Next in reading has increased manifold over the years…
The Hidden Children
I think we need to redefine what we mean by reading. If you ask me — Is Gen Next consuming vast amounts of content?, then I say, yes. They know a lot more than we did at any comparable age. I am certain I didn’t know the names of the eight planets at four. The quality of content is also much less biased, much more appropriate and less prejudiced. However, I worry about their ability to read long form content at a later age because of their short attentions spans and I feel that some of our stories have also become too preachy and focussed on messaging rather than working the imagination and telling stories for the sake of stories. So reading is not dead but if long form storytelling needs to compete with other media then it has to become more imaginative and more immersive. Younger readers are gravitating towards well-told stories with well-etched characters, irrespective of whether the story is communicated through the medium of a book, the screen or theatre.
Kaalkoot – The Lost Himalayan Secret
Younger readers are gravitating towards well-told stories with well-etched characters, irrespective of whether the story is communicated through the medium of a book, the screen or theatre.
Fear of God
The fact that my Kindle book reviews have shot up after Covid-19 indicates the Next Gen is reading. I am a member of book clubs where the average age if you leave me out is 19. I am fully convinced the next generation loves reading.
Oh they’re reading, but it’s just a different form of reading, I feel. The content is pithier and less dense. The pace of the book and plot twists are more important than language and lengthy descriptions.
Yes, Gen Next is reading but their format is different. They are reading on their phones, tablets etc. I was ruing the demise of printed books when an editor of a leading publishing house told me that world over e-books sale isn’t close to that of printed books. That was the best piece of news I heard. Reading will never go out of style. Never.
Millennials and Gen Z are definitely reading books. While the books of choice for some are non-fiction, autobiographical for others and fiction for a select audience, in a gathering of young people, you always hear a smart Alec saying this is what he or she read in that New York Times bestseller list like Outliers or a fiction fan gushing about Eleanor & Park. In times of lockdown, books are also our only refuge from too much family time and the gazillion screens we stare at all day. This period specifically is gift-wrapped reading time for some of us and we can use it well to get back into the hobby that slows time down (or speeds it up depending on the novel you’re reading). Reading is a deeply restful yet engaging act of self-care for our monkey minds. Let’s open a book this curfew and give ourselves a little reading TLC.
Yes, definitely they are reading! It’s a myth that they don’t read. And I can say this considering the huge response I get from them! They are not just well-read but mature and discerning, knowing well the genre I write, aware of the difference between fiction and fact, fantasy and falsified stories. It’s not the profile that has changed but the nature: Reading is observed more as a trend than a habit.
Gen Next is reading books more than ever. Many years ago, we were only reading hardcopies. Gen Next is reading on computers, kindles, phones and hard copies. There’s been a revival in the interest in reading books and we now have more genres, books at every price range, books to read on the metro, books in vernacular languages which show that an interest in reading continues. We still see great footfall at Literature festivals, book clubs are cropping up all over the world (some even virtual)… the manner in which we read and what we read has evolved, but not disappeared.
The Last Avatar – Age of Kalki Trilogy
The reading habits for the Gen Next are undergoing an interesting change at the moment. While the Netflixes of the world have reduced the time available for reading, the book adaptations that manifest as series & movies are doing well. College students are more glued to audio books & podcasts rather than reading novels & short stories. So, definitely they are reading lesser & lesser books. But they are still consuming the information in different formats! Going forward, books will continue to be written and distributed in different formats, it’s going to be an interesting phase to watch out and see it all turns out! One thing is for sure, good books will continue to be written and read!
NEERA MAINI SRIVASTAV
The Adventures of Bubblegum Boy
Our Gen Next is afflicted with cognitive impatience that keeps them from reading. Maybe if video content suddenly were to disappear one day, chances are they might brave it. But that’s a fictional scenario for now!