This archived article was written by: Kara Heaton
A few of Ray Bradbury’s books, as
well as books writen by other authors, address
the problem of the slow death of society by the
decrease in reading.
In Fahrenheit 451, fi remen burn books,
instead of putting out fi res. In George Orwell’s
1984, reading books is not necessarily against
the law, but if you are caught reading the wrong
book, you could get killed. Th ere is a rising
problem in today’s society. With the increase
use of cell phones, computers and iPods, people
are not reading as much as they used to. Th ey
don’t feel that it is important or necessary to
sit down, relax and read a book. Instead, they
would rather sit on the computer and play video
games, go out with their friends or text.
I know a female who refused to read a book
because if she did, it meant she “did not have
a life.” She would not read even if her friends
were not able hang out at the time. For whatever
reason, it was “socially unacceptable” for to her
to read a book.
Jerold Jenkins, from Jenkins Group Inc,
a publishing company, did a survey, which is
found online at www.parapub.com. Th is survey
shows that one third of high school graduates
will never read another book for the rest of
their lives, 42 percent of college graduates
will never read another book after college, 80
percent of families in the United States did not
buy or read a book last year, 70 percent of U.S.
adults have not been in a bookstore in the last
fi ve years and 57 percent of new books are not
read to completion.
Why are those numbers so drastic and, some
might even say, scary? How come one out of
every three high school graduates will never pick
up another book again? How come families
are not buying and reading books anymore?
Reading is almost like a habit, something that
needs to be picked up when young, from observing
parents or older siblings. If a child is never
read to, they will never learn to love books. If
a child never sees that reading is okay, they will
never know that it is a defi nite activity they can
engage in during their spare time.
Children should be introduced to public
and school libraries. When I was a child, I was
shown how many great children’s stories and
authors were available. I read Th e Chronicles
of Narnia and the rest of the series before it
ever became a motion picture. I read books
such as “Th e Boxcar Children,” “Nancy Drew,”
“Th e Bailey School Kids” and “Sideway Stories
from Wayside School.” When I was older, I
read books like “Th e Lord of the Rings,” Mary
Higgins Clark mysteries, Clive Cussler adventures
and Robert Jordan fantasies.
It was this special interaction with books
that let me see reading was not just a chore or
something I had to do to complete an assignment,
but rather an adventure that allowed
me to use my imagination while I nourished
A lot of people think that in the future, we
will not need newspapers, books, newsletters,
or magazines, because everything will be on
the Internet, but people do not like to read on
computers. Because of all the web sites, people
feel like they are wasting time if they spend too
much of it on one page, and so will only skim
through the page, picking out details. Let’s
all keep reading books, okay?
Personally, I love books. When I was young,
my mom would take my book away so that I
would get my homework or chores done. A few
of my roommates had the same thing done to
them when they were children.
What is so great about books, you
ask? Books can be good for many reasons.
One reason I read is because sometimes I just
want to get away, without actually going away.
Life can be stressful sometimes; everyone
knows that. But you also have responsibilities
that come with every day life, and taking a
vacation to “get away from it all” does not
always work. Plus, why spend money on gas
or a hotel, when you can just sit back and read
a chapter or two?
Reading books can also expand your
vocabulary. I think everyone has been in one
of those situations when someone says a word
you do not know, and you feel stupid to ask
what they mean. So if you read more, you can
be the one to sound smart.
Books can help your imagination. By reading a vast variety of books, it expands your imagination because you are able to meet new people. By reading,
it enables you to expand horizons and have more ideas
that help expand your imagination even more. It is like a
domino effect. The more your imagination grows and the
more you learn things, the more you will want to.
Education is also another reason to read books. Sometimes
I like to learn more about a subject we have talked
about in a class and will read a book about that subject.
Th ere are plenty of classes that you only can learn the bare
minimal, so if you really want to learn more, you have to
go to other resources.
As people stop reading, something magical is lost. Will
that magic ever be found again? Will later generations pick
up the slack and fi nd that wonderful, miraculous world that
is slipping away today? Or will it be lost forever?