Letter: Tough texts

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Sir: I fear that some of the books I quoted as recommended reading for teenagers ("What every teenager should be reading", 17 September) - for example, Burckhardt on the Renaissance - may be thought a trifle ambitious. This is because I had no idea the list was for teenagers. My impression was that these were books people would do well to read before they die, and teenagers, of course, do not expect to die.

All this inadvertently highlights a familiar problem. If you do not treat teenagers as grown-ups, you are in trouble. If you treat them as grown- ups by recommending demanding books you can be in equal trouble. To that extent, my little misunderstanding with The Independent may have served a purpose.

GEORGE WALDEN

London W12

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