It’s been how many years, and I’m still getting in conversations about this, so I’m going to clear my opinion up.
It happened again last weekend, people constantly call it trash, horribly written, whatever.
Someone criticized the Twilight book series.
Now, I read the series as it came out wayyyyyyy back when, and you know what? I liked it. I was fifteen, it was perfect. Was it a work of literary fiction so thought provoking that I was moved to my very core?
Was it great to read in silent reading, after tests, in the bath, and at the beach?
See, there’s the thing. I didn’t want something serious. If I had wanted literary brilliance I would’ve talked to my English teacher, or my teacher mother- not the college aged clerk at the bookstore who told me that it was popular. (edit: Actually, she was pretty good. I found my journal entry from that day and she asked me questions about when I was reading, what kind of books I had read before. Go Chapters girl!)
Just like I firmly believe there’s nothing wrong with indulging- and LIKING to indulge, in our favourite disproportionately derriere-d family every so often on TV, there’s nothing wrong with reading something light and fun. It’s a beach and bath book, and sometimes you’re in a bath or at the beach.
Seriously, take Sophie’s World to the beach. Great book, AMAZING book. But it just doesn’t work.
The biggest thing I have with people dissing books- Twilight just happens to be an easy example, but I’m talking any book, is that at the end of the day, KIDS ARE READING. The way I see it, any time we put a book in someone’s hands, we’ve won. That and the fact that I know so many teenagers who went and read Pride and Prejudice- Bella’s favourite book, right after. How can we argue with that?
Books will only survive if we encourage people to read them- all of them. Maybe instead of yelling at people for liking Twilight, we should encourage them to read more.
Teen: Oh MY GOD! I LOVED TWILIGHT!
Formerly Cynical Person: That’s so great that you’re reading, Bella’s favourite book was Pride and Prejudice, have you read that?
T: No, it seems so advanced.
FCP: It is, but you’re smart. If you want something a little more contemporary have you read anything by Sarah Dessen? And don’t forget, Judy Blume’s books are timeless.
T: No, I haven’t but I will. Thank you for enlightening me instead of tearing me down and turning me off of the wonderfulness that is reading and broadening my mind. I’m going to come to you for so many more book recommendations! Because the more I read, the more I can put books like Twilight into context and appreciate their flaws while still liking their strengths.
Bottom line: Kids that are read are kids that succeed.
(Just a note, this is not in any way, shape, or form about the movies. No me gusta. I saw one in the theater and an 11 year old was yelling “TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT” to the screen. Really? REALLY?!)