What if our teenagers read more than we think?

Digital pages or paper pages? Screens or books? As the 38th Book and Youth Press Fair opens in Montreuil this Wednesday, we wanted to understand how teenagers relate to reading.

Previously, 15-year-old Chloe read a lot. But that was before. His last trip to the bookstore coincides with the beginning of the school year in September to buy the cover of a missing notebook.

Today, a 3rd grade schoolgirl in Thiais en Essonne admits: “As a child, I spent a lot of time reading books with my parents. We went to the library every Saturday and they would buy me some regularly. I read little or none on paper these days! For me, reading is first and foremost a classroom assignment.

As for Tristan, a science freshman in Paris, he no longer buys his manga from bookstores. He eats them on his smartphone. “The books I will buy are only books for the French BA“, he explains.

What are the reasons that encourage teenagers to move away from paper? By the time she reached her teenage years, Khloe made the impression that “less choice in booksellers’ windows“. Underrepresented, literature for young adults? Not necessarily. “42% of children’s literature titles are adolescent or pre-adolescent literature, starting at age 10.”, confirms Sylvie Vassallo, director of the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse.

Habits change the most. French youth between the ages of 7 and 25 spend eight times more time reading online, reveals a study published in February 2022 by the Center National du livre (CNL).

But that doesn’t mean the younger generation doesn’t want to study, even if experience declines when they enter college, especially among boys. Young people still read, but they leave the paper. New experiences are evolving. 40% of young people have already read a book on a smartphone, which is 14% more than in 2016.

At the Marque Page bookstore in Choisy-le-Roi in Val-de-Marne, Cécilia Bianchi felt the wind turn. In recent years, he has changed the bookstore shelves and orders more manga from publishers. “It would be wrong to say that young people don’t read anymore. On the contrary, they have a passion for reading, but their interest is more in manga than in novels..”

Then a new kid entered the children’s literature market: TikTok. Impossible when we think that the Chinese platform is more inclined to show us choreographies. And again: he “became a prescription“, assures the bookseller. In the teen novels section, it is trending thanks to the exploding hashtag #BookTok. Short videos, visual effects, music: its format is proving to be huge for unleashing literary love. Last August , for For example, many teenagers Sarah Rivens (Hachette Romans) claimed to be “Captured” because they saw it on TikTok. According to TikTok, #BookTok has garnered more than 84 billion views, as evidenced by the thousands of viewers of Marion’s videos on the Chinese social network. network, a freelance editor.

On paper or on screen,so that they can read what they want, comics, manga…, it doesn’t matter, the important thing is to read,” convinces Tom Léveque, co-founder of Big Maybe Publications with his brother and author of the guide to young adult literature, In Search of Big Maybe, to be unbeatable in young adult literature.

Social networks? It certainly has a lot of interesting things to offer and explore.” he continues. But the book can’t succeed only because of them: you have to be able to find the good ingredients in it, which are the hallmarks of juvenile literature.“, the editor recalls: “It is a literature of intensity that conveys the energy of this age group, the first-time and strong feelings of friendship, love or family quarrels..”

Juvenile literature, in whatever form it takes, still has a bright future.

The book and press fair for young people is held in Montreuil until December 5.

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