Today I’m talking to two seventeen year old girls, Ellena, a keen reader, and Sara a young lady who is not a book lover at all!
Hello, girls. Ellena, why do you think you girls have such different attitudes towards reading and books?
Ellena: I don’t really know. I’ve always loved reading. Our house has always been full of books and comics. My mum or dad took us to the library every week from a very young age. By the time I started school, I was already able to read, although, of course, I got stuck on difficult words!
Trish: What about you, Sara, did you ever enjoy reading books when you were younger?
Sara: My big sister and my Mum loved reading but I wasn’t ever that keen. My mum would buy books she thought I might read and my sister would try to get me to read books that she liked. I really tried to get into them, but I never got very far. I did enjoy listening to my mum or my big sister reading stories to me when I was little, especially at bedtime because it put off the time to actually go to sleep!
Trish: What kinds of stories did you like best?
Sara: Fairy stories, ones with unicorns and magic, that kind of thing.
Trish: Did you enjoy reading at school?
Sara: Not really. Though I did enjoy it when one of the teachers used to take me for one to one sessions for a few months because I was struggling. She was really nice and we played different word games, so it was fun.
Trish: What about you, Ellena; did school encourage your love of reading?
Ellena: I liked free reading but I hated group or class reading sessions when you had to go really slowly through a story and the teacher would interrupt all the time with questions like: ‘What do you think will happen next?’ when all you wanted to do was read on and find out!
Sara: Yes, and then you had to write things about it! I didn’t like that!
Trish: Well, they were trying to assess how much of the story you understood. What kind of books do you read now, Ellena?
Ellena: Quite a variety, really. I like books that raise real issues. I recently read Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter. It’s quite sad really, it’s about a girl who is Selective Mute – she finds it hard to actually speak out loud to most people – and she gets bullied at school, so she decides to start a blog to stand up for the ‘Nobodies’ like herself.
At the moment, I’m reading Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. It’s a story about one of the popular girls at a High School, who is hiding what she’s really like from everyone. I’m really getting into it!
Trish: They sound interesting. Are they the sort of stories that might appeal to you, Sara?
Sara: Maybe, if they make them into films! I love a good film!
Ellena: But with a book, you can build a picture of the characters and the setting in your mind! You can use your imagination.
Sara: But it’s so much better to see what’s happening and to see what the characters are doing than to read a book. It brings the whole story to life more.
Trish: What about friends of your age; are many of them keen readers?
Ellena: Hmm, I have four friends who are very keen readers. Two of the girls are into YA romances, another one reads Sci Fi. And there’s Steve who’s into Comic heroes. He’s really keen on art and he likes to draw the characters and invent new ones himself. But I also know quite a few people like Sara who don’t read books.
Sara: Some of my friends like reading and some are like me. If we want to know about something, we’d probably read about it online, or watch a blog or something. If you want to know how to do something, you can find out on YouTube and someone can tell you and show you how to do it and you can understand clearly what they’re talking about. It’s so much better than reading a list of instructions. It makes more sense.
Trish: Do you think that reading books is less popular these days? Do you think there’s a future for books?
Ellena: I think reading will always be important, whether it’s as an actual paper book or a Kindle or some other kind of screen edition. I’m not sure if paper books will last though, especially with all the talk about global warming and cutting down trees.
Sara: I don’t think the number of people who enjoy reading has changed much over the years. I remember at school, there were always the kids who’d have their heads in a book and the others, like me, who played with a book until it was time to put it away! And if you look around at the older people, some read loads of books, some read papers and magazines and some don’t read at all. They probably never did. I think it’s something you’re born with – you like reading or you don’t.
Trish: An interesting thought there - people are born readers! Has anyone else any opinions on this?
Well, thank you so much for sharing your views with us today, Ellena and Sara.
Here are the books Ellena mentioned.