Where Did Our Love for Books Go?

Carlee Zartman
Staff Writer

Reading a text is reading, but not really. Nowadays the only reading we’ll do is on our phones. 

Reading is in decline because the population is now composed of fewer readers.

In his article for Forbes magazine Jordan Shapiro wrote, ”According to government studies, Since 1984, the percent of 13 year olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%.”

Senior Breanna Gentry, recognizes that teens don’t find reading books useful anymore. 

“They do not see a reason to read and find information, because they have it all in front of them by using a phone,” Gentry said.

In her english class, Gentry read a book titled “Fahrenheit 451,” where they aren’t aloud to read or think. 

“In the book all of their emotions are taken away,” Gentry said. “They don’t know how to love, and they don’t know what relationships are.”

The characters in the book influenced the government for a different type of society. 

“In Fahrenheit 451 the people wanted a more dystopian society,” she said. “At first it was enforced by the people, then the government took control.”  

Not reading can affect brain growth, and the ability to comprehend according to Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute. 

“Teens now read anything on social media or things they see on their phones,” she said. “I don’t think it is beneficial, or making them smarter in any way.” 

Caitlyn Jacobson, Kayhi’s school librarian, realizes the statistics of student reading has gone down. 

“The statistics have gone down, but adults are just as guilty of looking at their phones, scrolling through facebook, and playing games,” Jacobson said. “The problem isn’t just with teens it’s with all of us and the use of technology.” 

Chart where reading declines among all age groups 

She believes as a teacher they should be making students read as a crucial part of their education.

“Our job is to educate you and part of education is to read,” she said. ”That’s one of the most important things to do as a human is to read a book because you learn something about the outside world. 

Typical reluctance 
In his article for Forbes magazine Jordan Shapiro wrote,” Technophobes think we are raising a generation that doesn’t understand the value of literature.. Books are a crucial part of one’s education.”

Junior Patrick Garcia believes students lost touch in reading because they don’t know the main purpose of it. 

“Kids lost their touch in reading because they can’t imagine it in their own way,” Garcia said. ”They are being told how it is.”

Garcia learned the value of reading at a young age.  

“I used to read for fun as a kid, I would always read with my mom before I went to bed,” he said. “The main reason why I read for fun was because my mom encouraged me too.” 

As his life moved forward he found that he didn’t have enough free time to read.

“In 6th grade I stopped reading,” Garcia said. “It felt like a chore and I haven’t attempted trying to read again because I’m caught up with everything else.”

Why did you stop reading? 
My mother, Christina Zartman, grew up reading books and made me read a little bit of magic tree house every night from 1st grade until 2nd grade. 

“With the right book, it could be life changing,” Zartman said. “This will allow you to broaden your horizons and use your imagination.”

Picking up a book you like can educate you and overall make you a well-rounded person.

“You have to make the content relevant by picking up a book once in a while that interests you as well as inform you,” she said.

Does it matter?
In Will Shuabe’s article The Week he wrote, “While my parents gave me some of my earliest favorites, teachers guided me to many of the favorite books that would shape my life.” 

Delaney Neilson explains the importance of books and how parents should put in effort to inform their kids about reading. 

“I think it’s super important to read to kids when they are little and teach them the importance of books at an early age so that hopefully they will continue to read when they are older,” Neilson said.

When you read you take in more than electronics. 

“When you read, it teaches kids something that TV and video games can’t,” she said. 

Erin Shea, a junior, encourages reading and thinks we should enforce it more. 

“One way to get students to read more is to have teachers to enforce it,”  Shea said. “This way they will find ways to motivate themselves to read.”  

In Elena Aguilar’s article Student Engagement she wrote, “If we’re going to encourage kids to read we need to do it too. Read for pleasure, information, instructions, connecting with others, and so on.”

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