Say it’s so, Joe

According to Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf, Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in Washington, DC, has opened a new section for older teens.

 “We needed a separate physical space with more sophisticated titles for our high school readers,” says bookseller Heidi Powell, who has been actively working on creating a special section for older teens, ages 15-18. She’s also been rebranding the store’s children’s booksellers as children and teen booksellers.

Yay!!!!!! Whenever anyone focuses on teen readers and thus YA literature, I feel like I’ve won a lottery…except without that whole winning a lot of money thing.

The article goes on to say that the section was conceived to help prevent older teens from bypassing the young readers section for the adult section, located upstairs.

I’ve long felt there needs to be some re-jiggering of YA and how it’s classified and shelved. I’ve gone as far as advocating that YA become a sub-set of adult fiction versus children’s fiction.

No idea what implications that would have on the industry, but I’m curious.

As savvy and well-read as some teens are, they still don’t necessarily want to look in the “children’s” section for their books.

While most bookstores have their YA section right before the children’s section, I’d love to see someone be a complete rebel and place their YA section away from the children’s section and put it beside, say adult gen fic.

I don’t mean simply move a shelf of books with YA near the adult section. But create a real section that appeals to teens, so it’s obvious it’s for them. A few comfy chairs, maybe, brightly colored, a small flat screen that shows book trailers, maybe?

That way younger tween readers would have something visual to look forward to – the wonder of being able to finally buy books from that section- and teen readers would feel like their area is actually more “adult” than young…but you know, their version of adult.

Maybe one day.

I applaud Politics and Prose for creating the new section. As the hand wringing begins about how the economy will impact holiday sales, and the usual non chalance prevails regarding teen reading – I mean what teen wants a book versus something nice, shiny and electronic for the holidays? *natch* It’s nice to hear the book sellers are still actively seeking the teen dollar and doing whatever they feel they can to keep them reading the books made especially for them.

5 thoughts on “Say it’s so, Joe

  1. This is great news. Thanks for sharing it. I especially liked your comment “Whenever anyone focuses on teen readers and thus YA literature, I feel like I’ve won a lottery…except without that whole winning a lot of money thing.” because I feel the same way. Thanks!

  2. I love this news too! Creating a space for this age group is KEY. I mean, remember still having to be at the kids table when you were 15? It was time for a new seating arrangement.

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