Parents, be the parents!

First, I just want to apologize to the bookstores out there that may have received some criticism from me regarding all the chick-lit books and girl displays. Please, I desperately would love to sell my books in your stores some day. Don't take it so personally. You could even stick them with the girl books, I wouldn't mind! But I digress.

I knew I should have paid more attention in economics class, because its simple economics. Supply and demand, right?

Who buys books, usually? Who goes to libraries? Who goes to bookstores? It was explained to my quite succinctly by someone within the school system, that boys just don't buy books; plain and simple. They don't think its something cool to do, and we all know that young boys are desperately trying to be cool.

In a way, I feel real embarrassed that I didn't figure that one out for myself. Am I getting that old? Did I completely forget my youth? Was it that scarring to me?

I hated books when I was young. I never dreamed about books, except the kind that had Batman or the Hulk on the covers. Whenever our classes had "library time" at school, a bunch of us just sat in the far corner cubicles and fooled around. So what's the solution? If our boys aren't even setting foot in bookstores, that's a crucial first step that's being missed.

Hello parents, are you out there? Over here, we're talking about your kids; YOUR KIDS! I know that nobody likes to get criticized, but I'm going to do it anyway. Parents need to be held accountable for whether or not their boys are reading books. That's right, you're in charge! I know it sounds hard to believe for those that have "strong-willed" children, but oh well. Parents need to make that first step, because the boys certainly won't do it.

Don't think of it as "wasting money" on them. Its sure better than buying them that new $60 video game, or upgrading their video rig to the new $400 model. These machines are meant to become extinct and depreciate over time as the games get bigger and faster and more demanding. Trust me, I'm in that industry. You can buy a video card for a PC for $650 that won't be fast enough to play the new games next year. That's just the way it is. Now should you "waste" $15 on a book that might not get read right away, but still holds its value while it sits on the shelf until it is discovered, or should you buy that $60 game that'll be played once, maybe twice if its good - trust me that's what we do - and then put on the self when the next game comes along.

So don't be afraid of their reaction, don't start squirming thinking that they'll just laugh at you and throw them back in your face. They are kids and you are adults. Suck it up and go out and find the right books for the right boys. Talk to the people that work in the bookstores, they get paid to know what books or hot and what kids are looking for. And if my memory serves me correctly, I do believe that I actually saw a male bookstore employee once while I was browsing around; not that there's anything wrong with that. . . .

So let's get at it parents; let's take the initiative and do the leg work for our boys, because you know they're not going to do it; not now anyway. And if they don't read it, don't get frustrated, they're boys remember. Don't cram it down their throats, don't ground them for not trying. One of those National Film Board TV shorts once taught me that "persuasion is better than force". That's a good philosophy to follow I think.

More next week. Maybe even a sneak peak at my work in progress, we'll see if I'm brave enough. . . .


1 comment:

  1. Hey Jason,

    You're absolutely right. Parents need to take their kids to the library, to bookstores, to garage sales, to second hand book stores and immerse their little ones into books of all types. At our house, we have a book for every occasion that arises. New baby, potty training, being shy, dinosaurs, making friends,etc. Today we were outside and little son had a fear of bees. Luckily I had Seinfeld to help me out. Good old Bee Movie in a short book form! Now, he is curious about dragons - thanks to a recent birthday party outing. Our next adventure awaits -

    Keep blogging - I love your wit and good humor.

    I'll check back