people or the people

I’d appreciate it if someone would answer my question about the following sentences. Thanks in advance.

A: The children of today don’t read as many books as those in the past did.

B: The children of today don’t read as many books as people in the past did.

C: The children of today don’t read as many books as the people in the past did.

Which of B and C is the same as A?
Of course I know in B and C there is a redundancy of “children”, but I just would like to know whether B or C is possible in terms of grammar.

A: The children of today don’t read as many books as those did in the past.

B: The children of today don’t read as many books as others in the past did.

C: The children of today don’t read as many books as the grown-up people in the past did.

Which of B and C is the same as A?
Neither.

Of course I know in B and C there is a redundancy of “children”. I don’t find any redundancy.

I just would like to know whether B or C is possible in terms of grammar. Possible.

I think you could convey your idea like this: Children of today don’t read as many books as those or others did in the past.

— Very sorry I miswrote. What I should have posted is as follows.

A: The children of today don’t read as many books as those in the past did.

B: The children of today don’t read as many books as children in the past did.

C: The children of today don’t read as many books as the children in the past did.

Which of B and C is the same as A?
Of course I know in B and C there is a redundancy of “children”, but I just would like to know whether B or C is possible in terms of grammar.

I’d like you to answer my original question, please.

One question you raise is whether the use of the pronoun ‘those’ for ‘children’ is okay. I would say yes. The other question is whether presence or absence of ‘the’ makes any semantic change in the given sentences. My answer to this would be in the negative in the above context.

— Thank you Anglophile. Do you mean both B and C is OK as far as grammar is concerned, and are the same as A?

You said “One question you raise is whether the use of the pronoun ‘those’ for ‘children’ is okay”. Does it mean B is the same as A, but C isn’t?

Do you mean both B and C are OK as far as grammar is concerned, and are the same as A? To me, yes.

You said “One question you raise is whether the use of the pronoun ‘those’ for ‘children’ is okay”. Does it mean B is the same as A, but C isn’t? Yes.

The children of today don’t read as many books as children in the past (did).
Simple and straightforward comparison of children now and children of past generations.
‘’…as those in the past did’ is not incorrect, but it is awkward and if you wish to use ‘those’ it would be better phrased “The children of today don’t read as many books as those in times past” (the reversal ‘past times’ is also possible).
By using ‘people’ instead of ‘children’ you are no longer comparing children with children. You are comparing modern children with the entire populace from the past - young, middle-aged and old.
Personally, I feel the whole sentence could be streamlined:
Modern children don’t read as many books as their predecessors.

Surely this use of ‘predecessors’ goes back on your reference to what you call ‘the entire populace’.

Thank you very much Anglophile and Beeesneees. I see your points.
But I have just one thing I can’t fully understand.

In B (The children of today don’t read as many books as children in the past did.), “the children of today” has “the”, while “children in the past” doesn’t have “the”. I’d like to know the reason.
I suppose “the children of today” is located at the subject of this sentence, and is talked about as a theme, so it means modern children instead of past children nor future children. I suppose this is the reason “the” is added.
On the other hand, “children in the past” isn’t located at the subject, and is talked about as a mere predication, so the distinction from children in the past or the future isn’t needed. I suppose this is the reason for “the” being unnecessary. Am I right?

One more question; If “children in the past” were changed to “children of the past”, is “the” added?

Do you think so? I don’t.
The point I made about the populace is that it covered all groups including ‘adults in the past’

‘predecessors’ in this sentence to me only covers children, the children in the past (now adults or deceased), having been replaced by the children of today.