From The Campus: Young Adult Romance Novels, Manga Dominate Mumbai Students' Summer Reading

From The Campus: Young Adult Romance Novels, Manga Dominate Mumbai Students' Summer Reading

While classic literature continues to charm readers, there's a shift towards genres that offer escapism, relatable narratives, and emotional resonance. Among these, young adult (YA) fiction and romance fiction emerge as clear favourite among students. It's a common sight to see students clutching these vibrant copies on campus or immersed in them during quiet moments in the classroom.

Sargam SoralUpdated: Friday, May 10, 2024, 08:23 PM IST
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Once filled with the literary works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Enid Blyton, the book vendors of Mumbai’s bustling streets now proudly feature a new array of pink and purple covers, adorning every nook of Kala Ghoda and Flora Fountain. It's a common sight to see students clutching these vibrant copies on campus or immersed in them during quiet moments in the classroom. Among those eye-catching pink and purple books, Colleen Hoover’s 'It Ends With Us' was a hit among young readers. This signalled a noticeable shift in the reading preferences of students and book enthusiasts alike.

While classic literature continues to charm readers, there's a shift towards genres that offer escapism, relatable narratives, and emotional resonance. Among these, young adult (YA) fiction and romance fiction emerge as clear favourite among students, captivating the hearts and minds of young readers globally. YA claimed the top spot as the most-read genre among young readers in 2023. Titles like 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' and 'It Ends With Us' became staples in the reading lists of young individuals aged between 13 and 21.

Divya Sharma, a 20-year-old engineering student, expressed, “I started reading young adult fiction in 12th grade because it offered me an escape from the pressures of daily life. I could relate to the characters and themes that helped me navigate my own challenges and emotions. The fast-paced plots and engaging storytelling kept me hooked and made reading enjoyable again.”

Another genre that has gained tremendous popularity is manga, thanks to its captivating mix of art and storytelling. It appeals to many, especially students, who love its colourful characters, exciting worlds, and gripping plots. With manga easily available online and more shows and movies inspired by it on streaming platforms, it's no wonder it's gaining even more fans among young readers.

Varnika Tiwari, a 16-year-old NEET aspirant, said, “I started watching anime during the lockdown, and when I learned that many anime series were actually adaptations of literary works, I started exploring manga, and now it has become my favourite genre. I download manga online and read PDFs since they are cheaper and I can read them anytime and anywhere. Whenever I have a break from studying, I prefer reading manga over watching anime because it helps me think more creatively.’’

These literary forms offer not just entertainment but also pathways for exploration, escapism, and catharsis. As we embrace this cultural shift, it's evident that literature continues to serve as a powerful medium for personal growth among the younger generation. Whether it's through the pages of a novel or the panels of a manga, the joy of storytelling remains a timeless and universal experience. 

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