Tim Parks, an author regularly contributing to the New York Review of Books, is protesting against the idea, often expressed by intellectuals about young people: “Frankly, I don’t mind what they’re reading, Twilight, Harry Potter, whatever. So long as they are reading something there’s at least a chance that one day they’ll move on to something better.”
Parks says no research has been done to investigate whether this climbing on the ladder ever happens. His own experience, with students and his own children, tells him it isn’t true. I agree but for a different reason. Young readers have to be enabled to read contemporary literature, which is often not the case in their lives, in order to be able to enjoy older literature.