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Author: Linda W. Braun

Report From the YALSA YA Literature Symposium: Inside the E-Book Book Discussions

Subtext iPad app logoOn Saturday, November 3, attendees at the YALSA YA Literature Symposium had the chance to talk about book discussions that take place from right inside an ebook. That’s right, you can talk about books from right inside the book. No more going to a website like GoodReads or Twitter or Facebook to have your discussions.

The app most talked about for these inside-the-ebook book discussions was Subtext. Subtext is a free iPad app with a lot of features which make inside the ebook book discussions easy to do and fun, too. The two screencasts below give you an overview of how Subtext works and how to get a copy of Steve Hamilton’s Alex Award winning title The Lock Artist (free from Subtext) to read with others to see how inside-the-ebook book discussions (and Subtext) work.

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The Next Big Thing: Social Reading

YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.

by flickr user sharmineishak
  • Raise your hand if you use Goodreads!
  • Raise your hand if you love to talk about what you are reading!
  • Raise your hand if you sometimes can’t wait to talk about a sentence, or a paragraph, or a chapter you just read!

I would bet that anyone reading this blog post answered “yes” to at least one, if not all three, of those raise-your-hand challenges. Each of the activities, from Goodreads to dying to discuss, are signs that in some way, all of us are social readers, and we crave and appreciate social reading experiences. Before the web, these experiences were centered on face-to-face conversations around a water cooler, in a classroom or meeting, when at a restaurant, before a movie started, or in a formal book discussion group. Today, with the Web 2.0 world and with mobile apps, the social reading experience and the possibilities for social reading experiences have grown in extraordinary ways.


E-Reading: Everyone is Doing It?

On April 4 the Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report titled “The Rise of E-Reading.” (By the way this report marks the launch of a new section on the Pew site focused on libraries.) There is quite a lot of data in the report that is must reading for anyone with an interest in books, libraries, reading of all types of materials in all types of formats, devices, and the future. I think this data is the continuation of a discussion that we’ll have over and over again over the next few years about the role of devices in book reading and the world of libraries.

Why people like to read from the Pew Internet and American Life Project report The Rise of E-Reading

The following Storify covers some of the key points from the report.

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What is it Exactly? The Art of the Adventures of Tintin App

I learned about the Art of the Adventures of Tintin app via an article in TechCrunch titled “TinTin iPad Art Book Blurs The Line Between Books, Movies, And Apps.” The article made me very curious to see how the app works and how it is and isn’t like a traditional physical book. So, I bought it. I think the best way to let you in on the features of the app is through a screencast – which you can check-out below.


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E-Reading App Features: A Guide to Some of the Basics

As the holiday gift giving season approaches, and more and more teens with whom you work will have access to e-reading devices, whether it be an iPad, iPhone, Droid device, or a dedicated e-reader such as the Nook, it’s important to become familiar with what to look for in an e-reading app. That way you can make good suggestions to teens and the adults in their lives about what to use for their e-reading experiences. Of course, not all e-reading apps work with books that can be downloaded from the library. However, as you connect teens with materials that might not come from the library, you will want to be able to help them assess what apps best meet their specific purpose and needs.

Many e-reading apps include features that allow for taking notes and highlighting of text. The screencast below shows you a bit of how that works using the Kindle app.(Which is available for a wide-variety of devices.)

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Really? That’s What They Are Reading?

I’ve been hearing recently about some of the title choices of teen book discussion groups and I’ve said to myself, “Really? “That’s what they are reading?” For example, I found out that a middle school book group recently read 2006 Alex Award title Never Let Me G0 by Kazuo Ishiguro and next on the group’s list was Emma Donoghue’s Room. I was slightly flabbergasted, well maybe totally flabbergasted, to learn that these were the two most recent books for the group.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with teens – middle school or high school – reading either or both of these books. But, I do wonder, why would they be the books that are selected for a middle school book group? And, I wonder, are they books that teens of the middle school age can really talk about in a facilitated discussion? What would they talk about? Of course, the plot could easily be discussed, but there is so much more to each of the books, why discuss them in middle school? Why not wait until high school where the value of the book will be so much more recognized. (At least for some teens.)


31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten: Charting Fantastic Series

Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Each day during the month of May, The Hub will feature a post about Teens’ Top Ten. Be sure to check in daily as we visit past winners and current nominees!

I’ve been looking at the list of the past eight years of Teens’ Top Ten and there is definitely something to notice. Series play a role in what gets on the list. Now I know that this isn’t shocking news to you, however, it is an interesting opportunity to look back at the series that have consumed readers over the past many years and consider what their inclusion tells us about teen reading. For example series on the list over the life of the list includes:

  • In 2003 and 2005 Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books were on the list.
  • Harry Potter appeared in 2004 and 2006
  • Maximum Ride titles appeared in 2005, 2007, and 2008
  • 2006 was the year that Twilight appeared on the list with New Moon on in 2007, Eclipse in 2008, and Breaking Dawn in 2009.
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