I found this video on Huffington Post, where the poster wonders if it’s a depressing sign of the demise of children’s publishing.
I’ll say no.
I think it’s a sign that just as always, you have to know your audience when you give a kid books as presents.
Kids fall into three categories that I can think of:
- Kids who love books and have to wait to get them as presents
- Kids who love books and get them whenever they want
- Kids who don’t love books
Only kids in category #1 would be delighted to get a book for Christmas. I was in category 2.
I was totally book-spoiled.
My mom, who’s worked in childrens’ publishing for decades, has always been a book worshipper. I think she considered it child abuse to deny us a book.
Things like toys, Atari cartridges, Smurfs, and comic books – which, obviously, didn’t count as “books” – had to come out of my allowance. Or, I could wait for a birthday or Christmas.
But when we went to Eyore’s, our neighborhood kids’ bookstore, it was like that episode of Laverne and Shirley when they win a supermarket sweep. I could run through the store and go nuts. My mom would buy everything I pulled off the shelves.
(At least, that’s how I remember it. She’s probably reading right now, saying, “That’s crazy! We went to the library all the time!” But we mostly went to the library during the summer, when we were staying someplace where the children’s library was better than the bookstore.)
Point is, I didn’t think of books as a luxury item. So if I opened a present and it was a bunch of books, I’d be like, “What? Why don’t you just give me underwear? Or wrap up something from the kitchen, like a banana, or a knife and fork?”
Now, I love getting books as gifts. They’re expensive!
It’s very possible that the kid in this video is in the book-not-loving category 3. But that doesn’t mean books are dead. Since the beginning of words on paper, there have been kids who hated to read.
Maybe he’s one of them, or maybe he’s just book spoiled. Either way, it doesn’t make this depressing. It’s just funny.
Do you agree? Leave me a comment. That’s what I want for Christmas. Comments are even better than books.