Tag Archives: Reading Preferences

Vampires, Talking Animals, Eating Disorders: Tween Boy Reading Angst

The Boy is not a reader. I’ve mentioned it here before so it’s certainly not news but with him starting middle school, it’s become increasingly obvious to me that his reading comprehension is not where it needs to be. He struggles a bit with his everyday coursework if reading is involved. He tends to forget important facts and his vocabulary is limited. So we had a conversation about it. I told him that if he read regularly, that these other things would eventually fall into place.

He agreed.

BUT, he said that he has nothing to read. That he goes to the library and all he sees are books about vampires, talking animals and eating disorders. So we headed out to the bookstore and this is what we found:

Bookstore Shelves

…books about vampires, talking animals and eating disorders.


Look at those shelves! 80% of it, if not more, dedicated to books about vampires. Well, the kid doesn’t like vampires and a tween boy really doesn’t want to read about girl issues either. So we weeded through the pile and came up with Alex Rider which has a teen spy as its protagonist. The Boy thinks it’s just “ok” and not fantastic. He wants to read books that are more realistic but written from a boy’s point of view. He really enjoys S.E. Hinton but he’s read everything she’s written already.

I have to say, that for a 12-year-old, The Boy can handle more mature themes. It seems as if he seeks them out but can’t find books that work for him. I figured it was an excuse he was using to get out of reading but he’s right. The shelves are limited if you’re not into what’s popular right now.

Oh, I’m sure there are books out there, but they are aren’t being promoted in any way, shape or form when you go into the bookstore or even the library for that matter. All you see is a sea of black and red.

Is there a problem here that I am not aware of? Is it just a huge marketing push to display these types of books. Are they really THAT popular? I sort of thought the vampire thing was fading out. Or perhaps authors that cater to young adults cater to that genre because it’s what sells? Where are the books about teen boys, dealing with everyday teen issues? It seems as if an entire group is being overlooked. Am I right?

If you have any suggestions for The Boy, please post a comment. Sometimes I think if he got past the cover of a book, he’d actually enjoy the story but apparently he is a cover snob like his mom! He see’s a kid with fangs or a girl looking hungry and he heads the other way and don’t even get him started about talking dragons.

Fancy That! I’m a Traitor! (didn’t mean to be)

Okay, so you know how I got a Kindle for Mother’s Day? I didn’t say too much about it because I was speechless and not able to fully express its awesomeness. I did all my research and when The Hub asked me which e-reader I preferred, I went back and forth between the Kindle and the Nook.

BUT, when Kindle announced file organization and Facebook and Twitter integration with its 2.5 upgrade (which still hasn’t downloaded by the way), I decided to go with the Kindle. Plus, to be honest with you, I just liked the clean lines of the Kindle over the Nook. It fits better in my hand, and just seems to fit me better.

What I didn’t consider was this…

…that I would be betraying my beloved Barnes and Noble.  Yep, I am a traitor.

Now, I get that most of these devices are proprietary in nature and I knew that choosing the Kindle over the Nook would mean doing business with Amazon, but what I didn’t consider was the “pretty” factor. In between my long hours at work (definitely not during work, ahem) I like to browse B&N’s website. Their e-book site is so much easier to navigate and much prettier than Amazon’s e-book site (my opinion).

Now don’t get me wrong, my purchases are done wirelessly. I don’t purchase online and then sync up later, although I know that you can do that. BUT, I didn’t realize how much I would miss browsing B&N’s site. Also, when visiting a B&N store, I feel like a bit of a loser. Everyone is walking around with their Nooks looking cool and I am Nook-less. This is an entirely strange feeling for me because I LOVE my Kindle. Even with all this loser angst I am experiencing, I still wouldn’t trade my Kindle for a Nook.

So what am I saying? I am sorry Barnes and Noble. I didn’t buy your Nook, but I LOVE your website and still shop in your brick and mortar store. I can hope that Amazon does something with their site to pretty it up a bit. Visually, it’s BLAH. Do you hear me Amazon? Do something with the Kindle Books section, please!


Amazon Kindle Book Section



B&N Ebook Section

So if you are in the market for an e-reader, consider your shopping habits too. Where do you purchase your regular books from? Are you loyal to a particular store? Browse each site’s e-book section and see which one you like best. For now, I am happy to browse one site and buy from the other, but it’s still a bit weird for me.