People sometimes wonder how to get more young people to read on a more regular basis. The assumptions in the question are wrong and there is a simple solution to get more people reading.

I don’t know why people ignore this, but everyone reads way more then they realize. Most people that use the internet read articles and social media posts quite regularly. The market for actual fiction and non-fiction books has not gone away. Ebooks do well. There are lots of actual bookstores that still exist. Many people buy paperback books online. Non-fiction is much easier to sell in a lot of ways. But even in terms of fiction, there is a market for new stuff. Obviously, the market for books is not what it once was several decades ago, but the assumption that younger people don’t read at all or don’t specifically read fiction is just not really true.

Let’s focus on fiction books (short stories, novels, poems, etc). Let’s focus on what tends to be the most difficult to sell. There is one easy solution to get people to read more fiction.

Make sure that people understand that they can enjoy literature just like a movie or song. Just because the art is written on paper doesn’t mean it is more difficult for people to understand. Of course, there are some old pieces of writing that a reader might not relate to without any historical notes, like the works of Shakespeare. Even if you need some footnotes, the idea that you have to be part of some elite group to “get” literature and genre fiction is false. Just read it, think about it, analyze it, and enjoy it.

Shifting the attitudes people have towards reading and writing literature and genre fiction will get more people to read.

 

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