Young people are reinventing the uses of reading

Young people are reinventing the uses of reading

By Charles de Laubier

Posted yesterday at 5:00 p.m., updated yesterday at 5:05 p.m.

Young people read, but their parents don’t always know it. While adults believe them to be sacrificed on the altar of the Internet and smartphones, with their screens as their only cultural perspective, in reality they are not the lost generation for reading. On the contrary. And the book industry benefits from it, despite a struggling publishing market. The “teenagers” – neologism derived from the American screeners to designate hyperconnected 13-19 year olds – neither discovered reading during the 2020 and 2021 confinements nor because it was declared a “great national cause” (until next summer) in France.

Millennials and their juniors are indeed book readers. “Young people are reading more and more”, confirms Magali Fourmaintraux, secretary general of the Petits Champions de la lecture, an association founded ten years ago and chaired by Antoine Gallimard, CEO of the Madrigall publishing group. An Ipsos poll for the National Book Center (CNL), published in March, shows it: 93% of 7-25 year olds say they ” reader “, May this be “in the context of leisure, for personal taste” (81%), with an average of five books read in the last three months, or “for school, work” (76%), with two books read over the same period. From children to teenagers (7-19 years old), those who read for leisure have risen to 83%, compared to 78% six years earlier.

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“Despite an increasing amount of time spent on screens, young people still read as much! », also reassures the recent “Junior Connect'” study, produced by Ipsos. 7-25 year olds spend an average of three hours and fifty minutes per day on screens, compared to only three and fourteen hours per week devoted to reading. But if they have an average of nearly three types of terminal (smartphone, game console, etc.) each, 61% of over 13s have read a book in the last three months.

The role of video platforms

It remains to be seen what attracts them. Among pre-teens and “young adults”, identification with characters seems to be decisive. “I watched the first three films of the saga after on Amazon Prime Video, after hearing about it on TikTok. I can’t wait to see the fourth movie which will be released soon. I very quickly identified with the heroine Tessa, blonde like me and with the same character! I became such a fan of it that I read the 2,500 pages of the complete edition containing the five volumes of the French edition”, testifies, enthusiastic, Violette, 15 years old.

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