The Importance of Dude-Lit By Don Calame"Boys aren’t reading. You hear it all the time. In the newspapers, from teachers, from parents, from librarians. But if you take a look at the teen section of most bookstores you might get a clue as to why. The majority of the books that are geared toward teenagers are meant to be for girls, about girls, doing girl things. Whether that’s finding out that they are secretly a princess, learning that their friend has the problem du jour (anorexia, cutting, drugs, alcohol, pregnancy), or perhaps most disturbing of all, discovering that the boy they are in love with is a vampire (or werewolf, or zombie, or angel, or alien from another planet). And then there are the books the students are meant to read in school. Novels by Steinbeck, Melville, Shakespeare, Bronte, etc. All very important works of literature, all having absolutely nothing that might appeal to a teenage boy. And nothing that a teenage boy can relate to in his current life. In fact, it takes quite a lot of effort to find those really good books that address what it’s really like to come of age as a teenage boy. And believe me, I’ve tried, with the help of some very knowledgeable booksellers. I’m not sure why this is. Because guys are half the population. These types of books should and need to be published. “Well,” some people say, “teenage boys won’t read even if you do publish them. Because they have short attention spans. And because they like sports. And because they play video games.” I’m sorry but I don’t buy it. Why? Because I’m a guy. And I have a short attention span. And I like sports. And I play video games. I also happen to love reading. And I learned to love reading when I was a teenager. Beyond that, most of my friends are exactly the same. I honestly believe that if you hand a boy a book that he can relate to, that feels realistic to him, that presents guys the way guys really are, with all the humor and confusion and awkwardness that we experience at that age, then boys will not only read that book, but they will thoroughly enjoy it and ask for another one just like it. And hopefully, more and more of them will be published, so that when they do ask for that next book it’s available for them to pick up." Big thank you’s to Don for stopping by the blog today and to Templar for setting this whole thing up. To learn more about my thoughts on Swim the Fly you can stop by my review here. The tour will next be stopping at Chicklish where they’ll be offering up an exclusive extract plus your chance to win a signed copy of Swim the Fly! Exciting stuff right? For more info on the tour you can check out Templar’s post here to find out more about what will be taking place and to watch the trailer for Swim the Fly (trust me you don’t want to miss THAT!)
Swim the Fly is out in the UK 1st June 2011. Don is currently in the UK promoting Swim the Fly so be sure to give him a warm British welcome and check out his website here.