What's With all the Gossip?

So the first book in the Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar was published 4 years ago and the 9th book in the series Only in your dreams just came out, but after Naomi Wolf wrote a scathing editorial in the New York Times about this series and their read-alikes Clique and The A-List everyone has been talking about it. Yes, they are basically Sex and The City for teens filled with consumerism and fun without consequences. Are they any worse than anything as popular that came before them? No. Are they flashier and better marketed? Definitely. Any teen who is reading these books - as opposed to watching the rampant fun without consquences on TV or online - is a teen I wouldn't worry about. Because *reading* is what separates the teens you worry about from the ones you don't.

Comments

Hear, hear!


I second the motion.


I don't know about that...I remember teens who did nothing but watch TV who were the smartest people around, along with teens who read exclusively whatever the YA preference of the day was and they were utterly lacking in imagination. I think the quality of *what* the read is very important, not just the fact that they read...


I would love to know a little more about these teens and how you know for a fact that the teens *only* watched TV - is this a memory or an observance of children in your life? Teens who watch a lot of TV and read are experiencing a sorts of information and hopefully learning how to discern good information from bad. I have a very hard time believing that *any* teen who was reading books and not watching a lot of TV - was lacking in "imagination" - reading is an internal/brain activity that requires the reader to engage their imagination - if for they must imagine the characters, the places, the time, the setting - you are not fed visuals in a book. Obviously there are lots of factors that impact a teen - family/parents being #, and so many other external factors. Definately lots to debate...


I was thinking of "imagination" more in the sense of having creative and dynamic personalities in real life: taking their experiences with media (books, tv, whatever) and operating - or not - in life with a bit of joie de vie.

Certainly not speaking out against this series (which I don't know anything about, outside of what's posted here), or Stephen King, or any of history's poster children for The Fall of Our Youth. I'm just skeptical when the mere fact of reading is presented as a sign of quality in a person. Just putting in time with the book doesn't neccessarily mean positive transformation of the reader...