Pages for all ages: Adults reading more kids books

By Nicole Pesecky, Reporter, npesecky@clickorlando.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 05:58:38 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 07 2014 06:33:02 AM EST

They call it kid-lit, but today it's not just for kids. Now the majority of books written for children and teens are actually being picked up by adults.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

They call it kid-lit, but today it's not just for kids. Now the majority of books written for children and teens are actually being picked up by adults.

The trend is even tempting big name adult authors into the game. So what's got so many grown ups turning the pages?

Amy Stender is 31-years-old, but when it comes to reading, she prefers to embrace her inner child choosing books written for kids half her age, all at the same
time.

She's not alone. A study found 55 percent of buyers of young adult books are over the age of eighteen.

"I used to talk a lot more with teens about teen books and now I'm sort of talking to everyone about teen books," Shannon Peterson, President of the Young Adult Library Services Association explained.

Peterson says gateway books like Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games first gave adult readers permission to browse the kids section and they haven't left since.
 
"I think it's awesome. I think there's amazing, amazing books out there for readers as young as eight and I think it's wonderful that more adults are seeing that and appreciating that," Peterson said.

Literary agent Kristin Nelson sees this as a part of a larger trend today. The blurring of the lines between what appeals to adults versus kids.

"I can listen to the same music that my teenage nieces and nephews listen to. There are adults who play video games. There's less of a distinction between, oh this is only for adult readers and this is only for kids," Nelson said.

Nelson says publishers are paying attention to their expanded audience, and are now actively marketing to adult readers with ads in popular magazines and in
movie theaters. And many big name adult authors have also gotten the game including John Grisham and David Baldacci.

"This is a hugely growing field, as we know, but also very competitive. So the quality of literature that's being published as young adult titles is, is pretty phenomenal," Peterson said.

But with so many adults picking up kids books, is there a concern that authors will start slipping in adult themes?

"They shouldn't be writing with that audience in mind, because their true audience are the young readers and that's the only people they need to satisfy with their stories," Nelson said.

As for Amy, she says she's found some real literary treasures between the covers of kids' books and hopes others will give them a try.

"If you look beyond, you know, the demographic age on the book you can definitely open up your mind and your, your reading habits to a lot more options
 out there," Stender said.

The young adult library services association just put out a list of books written for adults that have special appeal to teens as well.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of clickorlando.com, WKMG or its affiliated companies. This is a community moderated forum (Please note the 'Flag' button). By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms Of service
blog comments powered by Disqus