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The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

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The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

Falcon Flyer

The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

Falcon Flyer

Books and Teens

A complicated relationship
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The Briar Woods High School Library boasts a wide selection of genres of books to enjoy. Although reading has been one of the most popular hobbies for the longest time, it has been on a downward decline ever since the pandemic. 

A study done by the American Psychology Association explains that  “in recent years, less than 20 percent of U.S. teens report reading a book, magazine or newspaper daily for pleasure, while more than 80 percent say they use social media every day.” Although social media can make students not want to read in their freetime in can also inspire them [students] to read more. For example one prominent social media community known as “Booktok” is very helpful to many when it comes to finding inspiration for the books and genres they like. Furthermore, apps such as “Goodreads” could help students find reviews about books they are interested in.

However, social media is not the only reason for this decline. A plethora of students report that they simply have not had the time. A tenth grader here at Briar Woods speaks about how she doesn’t have much time to read, “My bus gets home at 5 and it is already dark, after eating, doing homework, studying for exams, practicing instruments, and doing taekwondo, I do not have time afterwards to read for fun.”

This is the case for many students all over the country. For example, a 9th grader from South Carolina says she has the same type of issue, “Many kids love reading, but usually they are too busy to read” she said explained

The final reason why many students do not indulge in reading is that many students don’t know what to read. There are many different types of genres to read, such as fantasy or true crime

Whether students find books through social media communities such as “Booktok” on tiktok, or online blogging sites. These websites can also increase the popularity of new and unpopular authors.  

 The amount of options may be overwhelming. “A book series I would definitely recommend is the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy” said one 9th grader. This book is a prominent example of how communities such as booktok make books more popular. This was the debut series for the author, Holly Jackson, and it went completely viral online. The first and most popular book in the series ended up selling over 2 million copies. The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy follows a girl named Pip as she uncovers secrets about her little town.

“I would say the book that is circulating the most is And Then There Were None,” said Ms Vailancourt, one of our librarians here at Briar Woods. The book And Then There Were None was written by the world renowned author Agatha Christie and is also one of the required books for tenth graders this year. This book is about 10 people who are invited to a remote Island by a mysterious host who does not appear on the Island. Furthermore, there is a killer amongst them who is killing the guests one by one for their past crimes. This genre of books is very popular among students because they are easy to read in one sitting. Ms. Vaillancourt also details one of her personal recommendations, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Cline. This historical fiction book follows two perspectives, one of Molly who is a rebellious teen stuck having to help a old woman clean out her attic after being caught stealing a book, and the other of Vivian, the old woman, and her journey through her youth as one of the orphans on the infamous Orphan Trains during the 1900s. 

Although, the rising popularity of true crime mystery books are not the only genre currently popular. “A very popular genre right now among my friends is definitely fantasy,” said the anonymous freshman. Among the most admired YA fantasy novels is Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Black’s novel is another prominent example of how popular books can get through Booktok and social media. The book is about a human, Jude, who lives in Faerieland and must prove herself her worth to the faeries. It has sold over 12 million copies worldwide since its release in 2018. 

From children to senior citizens, reading has always been a popular hobby amongst all age groups, but it has been on a downward decline, especially amongst youth. There are various reasons why teenagers, especially high school students, may not want to read for, but the one thing that is certain is there is a book for everyone out there. 

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