The ground-breaking “magazine” Blackpaper is proof that there is still space for new youth-oriented paper publications. Since publication in 2010, the one-dollar, two-page magazine saw sales increase from 160,000 in its founding year to 700,000 in 2011.
Roy Tsui, one of the founders of Blackpaper, believes today’s teenagers nowadays are not reading any less as a result of technology. Instead, he points out youngsters now have easy access to a much wider range of information than ever before. Although most of them prefer reading pop literature, Tsui insists the rise of such literature should not be blamed for a declining reading culture.
Instead, Tsui argues the fast-growing taste for pop literature proves young people are interested in reading. He believes this will, in turn, lead readers to further explore the issues that interest them. “I think those who keep criticizing the writing style of pop literature are pathetic. I suspect that they are not able to understand pop literature or simply can’t keep up with the trend.”
“Whatever gets to stay must have its own value” says Tsui, who admits he actually loves reading printed books. “The statement that young people don’t read is definitely wrong.”
Tsui says the definition of reading has changed over time and it is wrong to judge young people by the standards of yesteryear. He believes a healthy reading culture should encompass different forms of reading and that everyone should be able to freely choose what and how they read.