Society shouldn’t support decline in reading

Students add negativity to reading

by Kyle Gehman, Assistant Editor

During the first week of class students are doing a “meet your classmates” activity and it asks what things that they enjoy doing outside of school, so they put down reading. When their partner reads it out loud the whole class laughs and asks with horrified faces, why would someone like reading?

Society shouldn’t condemn reading to it’s death however, it shouldn’t be frowned upon, but enjoyed and appreciated. Today for kids this is a common reaction to reading. Students act like it’s a form of torture to curl up, open a paperback and get immersed into a story. It shouldn’t be thought of what old people who have time or people who don’t have a life do. While some people don’t have time, which is understandable for teens these days, reading has been one of the most popular forms of culture and knowledge for thousands of years.

Reading is important in so many ways. It passes down stories and information, it gives the gift of imagination and it gives us knowledge and lets our minds open to much more than we could from scrolling through Twitter. Not reading just hurts our society even more. We can’t advance our knowledge if we can’t learn from past events and not having imagination or creative thinking.

The National Education Association found that 46% of young people read less than 10 books a year. Let’s say a student was to read a page a minute for every single weekend of the year. They would have read 150,171 pages in this time which is roughly equivalent to reading the longest book in the Harry Potter Series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with 870 pages, 172 times. Looking at this it shouldn’t be that much to ask of young people to read more than 10 books in an entire year, but it is partially due to the negativity reading draws from students.

Time is hard to find in the normal day of a high schooler and kids do get burned out after a long day at school with a small portion of reading, but it isn’t too much to ask for students to read more than they do now. Reading is a bit of an acquired taste, however it shouldn’t be thought of as a terrible pastime, but as a way for people to escape into the setting of a plot of a book, be entangled in facts or history and a way for people to let their minds think, anticipate and imagine. English teachers need to let their students read more. Not annotate a book to a carcass, but to get a book and just read and stop to enjoy it.

Reading is one of the most important forms of imagination, learning and living and it shouldn’t continue to be an activity that sends students running for the hills.