Teen Tober

Every October librarians across the US celebrate Teen Tober. Throughout the month of October, librarians encourage teens to read.

The importance of this was made obvious to me over the weekend. I was sitting with my father in the hospital when one of the techs stopped to check on us. I was playing an audio book on my phone and she asked what type of book it was. This particular selection was a mystery.

“I almost never read,” she said. “I just never got into it.” I wanted to tell her that I was treating my father was essential oils and clover leaves but decided to play it cool, but it is definitely important to encourage teens to read.

As a teen, my son read a lot of licensed book titles – Star Wars, Tom Clancey, etc. He also read a lot of web sites and online articles. I always wished that he read more books but by not refusing to let him make his own choices, I feel like I encouraged him to read. It wasn’t a battle. It was a fun way to gather information.

When I was a teen, I discovered science fiction and fantasy. My friend’s father had a subscription to the “Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club” and they had walls and walls of speculative fiction. This was when I started reading McCaffrey and Cherryh. As a child I had read Nancy Drew but as a teen, I picked up my mother’s and grandmother’s mysteries, reading Mary Higgins Clark. I also read Agatha Christie, a friend’s favorite.

My parents always encouraged me to read but they did not encourage science fiction or fantasy. “I used to read it,” said my Dad, “but I outgrew it.” I can’t say that that has been my experience. Most of the types of books I enjoyed as teen, I still read today.

What books did you read as teen?