The Bookseller leads with a headline today on age guidance for children’s books. It’s a subject I feel passionately about – so much so I was moved to comment on Caroline Horn’s piece which you can read here:

Including age guidance on books does a great disservice to the group who should matter most – young readers. Already divided by an industry that decrees girls should read books with pink, sparkly covers while boys manfully cope with rearing beasts, they are now segregated into age groups which are meaningless.

As any educationalist will tell you, biological age has little to do with reading age. My 8 year old daughter reads four to five years above her age and adores those beasty books meant for boys. Surely this is about knowing the individual child and feeding their reading needs accordingly?

And to help those confused adults buying books as Christmas presents, nothing can replace a well-informed bookseller. There are any number of them to be found up and down the country running independent bookstores, sharing their wealth of knowledge with customers and providing the type of service supermarkets and faceless chains simply cannot match…