Shakespeare ‘real killer’ for efforts to breed love of books says top author

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A BEST-SELLING author has warned that getting teenagers to study Shakespeare puts them off books because the Bard’s works are not relevant to them.

GP Taylor, whose work includes Shadowmancer, has claimed more modern works like Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books should be included in the curriculum to ensure pupils develop a love of reading.

The Scarborough author has backed The Yorkshire Post’s Turning the Page campaign to promote the importance of literacy. The newspaper has launched the drive as figures show that children growing up in the region are less likely to master the basics in reading and writing than those anywhere else in the country.

Mr Taylor claimed a key problem was the choice of books pupils were asked to study, and added: “I do think Shakespeare is a real killer. Young people tell me that it is a real pain for them. And I think it puts them off.

“Not just Shakespeare, but it puts them off books in general. The language and the context is just not relevant to them and often they study it without the performance, so it’s just dry.

“Nobody will want to criticise Shakespeare because he is the nation’s Bard but when I visit schools young people tell me that reading Shakespeare is a pain. The key is to get them to read about things which are relevant to their lives.”