Classification needed to aid young readers
of 2,026 interviewees are in favor of a classification system for children’s books, while only 5.4 percent disagree, according to a survey on juvenile education. Beijing Youth Daily commented onWednesday:
For the children who have just started to read, choosing the right books is essential and their parents should be there to help them.
A proper book classification system would be of great help in this regard, since most parents do not know which books suit their children’s reading level the most. An effective classification system for children’s books would help overcome this problem.
Chinese bookstores, online or offline, still prefer to use age rather than reading ability to categorize what they sell. Reading ability and interests vary from child to child even when they are at the same age. This primitive form of classification is accepted by most bookstores and publishers, yet many young readers get books that are nowhere near their targeted reading level.
China has at least 200 million children under the age of 14, and their enthusiasm for reading has surged over the years. The publishers of children’s books should try to introduce a juvenile-centered classification system to help their readers choose books that are suitable for their reading abilities.
Some remain suspicious of the call for more scientific book classification, citing the need for youngsters to read “extensively” and avoid confining themselves to one or two categories. There is a strong case for resisting “selective reading”, but not book classification, which is designed to help young children develop benign reading habits and hold onto them in the long run.
Studies have found that children are less likely to be interested in reading if they have not developed such a habit before the age of 10. That said, it is in their best interests to resort to targeted reading during childhood, as this can greatly improve their comprehension abilities. So greater efforts should be put into designing a book classification system that meets the needs of young readers.