A third of today’s teenagers don’t read books for pleasure, reports a survey from the American Psychological Association. That’s nearly triple the number reported in the 1970s. And yet teens are reading — perhaps more than ever before. Glued to screens, they’re voraciously consuming words in the form of texts, photo captions, hashtags, notifications and news snippets splashed on social media.
If you, parents, want to introduce your teens to some classic literature — and you should! — here’s an idea: Get them where they are.
The New York Public Library has been sharing complete books through Instagram Stories, and the execution is captivating. The first title, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, was posted this winter, and the second one, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was shared this month.
Instagram users can devour these classics right there in the app as they click through clips of cats and latte art. The experience doesn’t feel nearly as daunting as being handed a heavy tome — the brevity of the distraction-free pages keeps you wondering what’s next.
This project, called Insta Novels, isn’t a teen-focused endeavour — anyone with a social-media-zapped attention span [raises hand] will find it refreshing. But I think it’s perfect for the high school demographic. According to a new study, Instagram has overtaken Snapchat as the most used social media app among US teens.
The next book to be released is Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis. Why not start a book club with your teen or tween? Don’t worry, kids — no one has to leave their phone.