As a reader and librarian, I love the idea of a whole week dedicated to "teen reading" - but there's so much more here than just celebrating YA books and the teens who read them. Don't get me wrong, Teen Read Week is totally a week to love on the books teens read - wherever those books are shelved. It's also a week to celebrate you though: the teen readers who make this week possible. And then there's the slogan ... I can't tell you how much I love this year's slogan.
"Turn Dreams into Reality"
I have been saying this to myself off and on all week ... It's such a wonderful reminder, no matter how old you are, and so perfectly suited for a teen-centric week. Dreaming is one of the things that helps us stay sane, you know? Being able to indulge in a daydream, to have a plan for Some Day, to let your imagination go wild and free and see where it takes you ... Dreams are the stuff of life, my friends. And they don't have to stay dreams - they can become reality. (Well, within reason, I guess ... Although if you figure out how to become Superman or create a working model of the Millennium Falcon, let me know, dude!) Even the fantastically impossible dreams can become reality, in a sense, by diving into the pages of a book.
Really Well-written Books
If a book is written well, if the story it tells is "true" (in that it speaks to us as readers, it reaches us and takes captive our reading selves, as opposed to feeling fake in the reading), we can do anything and everything. It's all there on the page, and in our imaginations, and we can be the characters we read. We can experience that, and it's real, for a moment.
Not Just Teens
I love YA books. Absolutely love them. I have for ... Oh man, a long time (years aren't important). Ever since my librarian handed me Stargirl, and told me that was me in a book. I had read YA books before, here and there (the first I absolutely remember reading was Sarah Dessen's Someone Like You), but Stargirl really started the love affair. The older I get, the more YA I read, the more I appreciate these books. Yeah, I'm quite a bit older than most of the characters now - but I can still relate. I still understand. And now that I'm a Librarian, I have an even greater appreciation for the variety and scope of what is available in the YA market now.
More Than Just YA
But teens, readers, you and me, we read more than just YA. We read "adult" books, and sometimes we read "young" books. We read classics and graphic novels and glossy magazines. We read, and that's wherein the magic lies. It doesn't matter if you're reading the newest release or a dusty tome you find on the back shelf - so long as you read. And enjoy it, because life is too short to suffer through horrible books you don't have to read (this applies to pleasure reading, unfortunately homework has to be done, sorry! Been there, done that (most of the time), and I can promise you'll survive).
So ... Go therefore and read.
And, because I simply can't help myself, and the lovely people at Warner Bros. have been so very generous the last few weeks, here are a couple of the new posters for The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies ... and yes, I included Thranduil. I am totally Elven, y'all. Totally. (Just don't look at my ears, they're rather human).
|Oh Thorin ... So stubborn, so proud, so King|
|Never underestimate the bravery of Hobbitses, precious|
|Sa-woon. Ahem. But really ...|