South West London libraries defend teen reading habits after Gove attacks modern literature


The education secretary attacked the Twilight saga.


By Christine Dorisamy-Pillai

Libraries across South West London have attacked Michael Gove’s views that not enough children are reading traditional literature.

Speaking at Brighton College last week, the education secretary said that too many teenagers were reading Twilight rather than classical novels.

Too many children are only too happy to lose themselves in Stephenie Meyer,” he said.

“You come home to find your 17 year-old daughter engrossed in a book. Which would delight you more – if it were Twilight or Middlemarch?”

An employee who looks after the teen section at Wimbledon Library said that these newer books should not be viewed in such a negative light.

“What people don’t realise is that some of those books are actually based on classical literary works. They’re not as much junk as everyone thinks,” she said.

“With Twilight, there was a massive media storm, everyone was reading it because everyone else was reading it.”

In Lambeth, children’s book clubs are becoming more and more popular, where a large variety of books are read and discussed.

“If a series becomes popular, such as Twilight and Harry Potter, there is a trend amongst young people to read that particular genre. We also find that there is a lot of crossover between young people reading adult books and vice versa,” said Sandra Davison, Head of Children’s and Young People’s services for Lambeth Libraries.

Photo courtesy of missteee, with thanks.

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