The Lost Art of Reading

Posted by: Katie Minnick

Growing up, I loved to read. I devoured books of all subjects, genres and authors. As I got older, technology became more prevalent and developed. Xanga, Facebook, Twitter evolved, and took over most of the time I previously devoted to reading. While I still enjoy reading, I have to make myself sit down and do it for leisure.

My two younger siblings hate reading. They dread the act, and are forced to do it by my parents. Seeing this, and other kids like them, saddens me. Reading is such a great way to relax and let your imagination run wild. Unfortunately, many now consider it “nerdy” and worthless. 

In 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that 67% of 4th graders have basic or below basic reading skills. Publishing companies have gone to extremes in order to get kids reading. They produce books like “Captain Underpants,” justifying the content with the excuse that at least kids are reading. If we go that far, we could justify that they are reading Facebook statuses, texts on their phones, video game chats, etc.

This isn’t just about the lack of reading in kids either. Many adults struggle to find time in their busy schedules to read the paper or for leisure. In 2006, it was found that one in four adults did not read a single book

Technology is definitely changing how we read and consume books. Many sites take people’s time and attention away from reading, such as Facebook and other forms of social media. However, the semi-recent introduction of e-readers, such as the Kindle and the iPad, reading might be making a comeback.

Do you think technology is helping or hurting the readers of America? What will change with the growing prevalence of e-readers? How should schools utilize these tools to get kids reading?

Advertisements

3 responses to “The Lost Art of Reading

  1. It’s so sad about the declining rate of reading. I remember in high school being completely floored when my own peers would call reading boring and express their hate for it. I’d really like to see the use of technology revive the interest in reading. I think it has the potential to do so.

  2. One in four American adults read not a single book in a year?

    Yet we spend about 4 hours a day watching TV.

    Ugh.

  3. Chelsey Teachout

    Do you think technology is helping or hurting the readers of America? What will change with the growing prevalence of e-readers? How should schools utilize these tools to get kids reading?

    I think technology is having a heavy influence on reading, but not necessarily reducing it. Instead, it is changing the way we read. No longer is everything written out formally, but in short bursts and fragmented thoughts. It’s more colloquial, like our everyday speech.

    Technology may be taking attention away from the stacks, but ultimately I think it is enabling millions to have more access to information online. For now I think the lack of reading books or novels is suffering because many people are preoccupied with social media, but are there any estimates of other kinds of “short-reading” online? Overall, I think there is a change in today’s reading rather than a decrease of the traditional novel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s