Bring Back Reading: Why People Don’t Read Anymore

We all have friends who say they hate to read, and as bookworms, we find that assertion hard to swallow. We understand the magic that words can provide; we get deep into a story and disconnect from the world. Books give us a new perspective, open our imaginations to new possibilities, and allow us to travel without leaving our beds. They teach us things we wouldn’t learn any other way. So, we don’t get it when someone says that they don’t like books. How couldn’t they? Who wouldn’t want to have that kind of power? The only reasonable answer we can find to that question is that people who don’t like to read simply haven’t found their right book yet.

How to find your right book:

Finding the right book for you is like hunting. It may be hard to find something that catches your eye and interests you. It may take long hours of walking through bookshelves. It may also require practice. It would help if you tried reading different genres to see what you like and what you don’t. Not every book will give you a great experience, and in the middle of this process, some people give up.

In that case, we book lovers have a mission: make that hunting journey an easier one.

Most young people relate to reading as an obligation. The first thing that comes to their mind when they think of books is school assignments. In 2019, the American Psychological Association published an article showing that the number of young adults who read every day declined from 60% in 1970 to 16% in 2016. Most of the young adults surveyed hadn’t read a book for pleasure in the last year. Even more disturbing, the latest data from the American Time Use Survey reveals that average reading time is declining not because readers are reading less but because society is creating fewer readers.

If schools are assigning books to students, but this is not making them interested in reading, shouldn’t the way reading is presented to them be changed? Shouldn’t we encourage them to find a book appealing to their interest and helps them to appreciate reading before forcing them to read something that they don’t like?

How new medias transformed reading:

Some people may blame social media. They will say that students spend too much time reading captions on Instagram; therefore, they don’t have time to read a book. But instead of criticizing, why not introduce reading using social media? According to an article published by ABC News, teens spend more than seven hours a day on the internet. There are a lot of Instagram and Youtube channels that creatively discuss books. Booktubers and bookstagramers create videos and photos that engage and give another perspective to reading. For example, you can check the Instagrams: Folded Pages Distillery or Riverhead Books.

If there is a need for books to be more interactive, why not make audiobooks more popular? Listening to an audiobook is an exercise of critical thinking and focus. It also leads to the experience of learning and allows the listener to become immersed in the story. The Toronto Public Library has thousands of free audiobooks available for everyone that has a library card. Listening to an audiobook and reading a book are different ways to achieve the same goal.

In the end, reading is a habit, and it has to be exercised. Making someone get interested in books is not something that will happen overnight. But as I showed you, there are ways to make reading more interesting. While we are reaching the end of this post, why not take some time to think of a book to recommend to friends who don’t like to read? Think of something related to them that they are interested in. Maybe there is an audiobook version of it. You know their taste better than anyone, and they’re more likely to listen to you better than a blog post they read on the internet.

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