This is a world away from general cataloguing and shelving that already exists, and that can be problematic enough. Just think, in a bookshop, you start off at what has roughly indicated as your age group and you move along the shelves to find something harder or easier. You don’t notice, probably, because you’re short and the labels are up high on the shelves that you’ve wandered out of your zone.
Interestingly, it is Philip Pullman who is leading the anti-age banding campaign. Just think, how would you label His Dark Materials trilogy? I’ve said in my Ph D thesis that it is a Young Adult novel. It has the feeling of quest about it that many Young Adult novels do. Lyra and Will are young adults. Many young adults have read and enjoyed it. Yet is has been read and enjoyed by younger people – despite a rather high reading age register. Many adults have also enjoyed it. So, which age band do we put it into and would that put readers from other groups off?
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