Writing for a YA Audience: LEND ME YOUR EAR…OR YOUR LENDING LIBRARYPosted: July 18, 2018
Lending libraries are the new craze. Basically, you build this little wooden box on a pole and stick it in your front yard. Most of the time, the little wooden box has a little glass window. People walking by leave a book and take a book. Lending libraries encourage neighborhoods to connect and read more. Plus, if you’re like me, they’re a great way to give away books and know they’ll go to a good home. The lending libraries can also be found outside of churches, schools, community pools, anywhere you might find a group of readers hungry for new books.
(For those who feel the need to DIY, here are some simple instructions to build your own.)
Lending libraries pull me in, and I’ve frequented quite a few. There’s one in Old Forge, Westernville, and New Hartford, all towns in Upstate New York where I live. Recently, I dropped off signed copies of my novels to the one in New Hartford.
Lending libraries, however, cater more toward adults than to young adults. Each one I’ve been to has never contained a young adult novel. I’ve seen some picture books for kids, but nothing in the young adult genre. The books are all well-worn copies of religious non-fiction, popular chick-lit or obscure fiction. I’m not knocking any of those genres, but let’s build up some interest for teenage readers.
The news is often talking about how teenagers aren’t reading enough. The news talks about how teenagers focus on their phones instead of getting out into the world. Lending libraries meant for young adults, or lending libraries with YA titles mixed in, would “fix” both of those issues. Teenagers would be reading more. They’d be introduced to more options. They would also be getting out into their neighborhoods. A great way to make lending libraries more interactive is to leave a note or bookmark inside the treasure you drop off. I like to include a thought about why I enjoyed the story. It helps to connect the readers, even if they live in a different town.
I’m all for dropping off a young adult title or two in the nearest lending library. Who is with me?
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult fantasy author. Her latest book, a post-apocalyptic novella entitled ROTHAM RACE, released July 14th fron CHBB. You can connect with Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethBooks.com.