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I found this interesting article written by Scott Hughes who has a website about books and reading.
Polls keep showing that more and more people in today's world read less and less. Some recent polls estimated that about 25% of United States families did not read a book in the last year. I have even seen some studies put the number as high as 80%.
Many factors contribute to the lowering reading rates. I will list some of the most major ones.
Television - Though television may seem simple in comparison to more elaborate technology, it did not even become commercially available until the 1930s. Nowadays, you can find televisions all over the place. Almost every household in the developed world has one or more. Families eat dinner in front of them instead of at a table. Time put towards television has replaced time put towards sports, family games, study, and of course reading. The addictive television appeals to our laziness, sloth, and short-sightedness. Instead of stimulating our mind with books, we choose to rot our minds in front of a television. Ironically, in the long-term, the reader often feels more fulfilled and happy than the TV addict.
Faster-Paced Lifestyle - Our culture now centers around a constantly faster-paced lifestyle. People work longer hours and then rush through their stressful lives, with credit cards, fast-food, and speeding cars. When we do take a break for fun, we look for the impulsive thrills of drugs, alcohol or TV, rather than calmer, longer-running pleasures like reading.
Misplaced Values - We do not value education and intellectuality much anymore. Instead, we value entertainment and athletics. Perhaps it is because technology and development have eliminated a great deal of our need for intelligence. Perhaps we feel secure that our needs have been met and feel that we no longer need to work as a society towards major goals. As a result, we just want to lay back and gossip about Paris Hilton and cheer for our favorite sports team.
Whatever the reasons, most people in our society have given up on reading for the most part. If you don't already, I encourage you to consider reading more. Also, consider slowing your life down, giving up television, and reassessing your values. Consider giving up unhealthy and short-term pleasures like television for long-term pleasures like reading. In 5 years, will you wish you watched more television, or will you wish you read more?
I actually kind of agree with it. Many people I know don't read because of everything just stated (why read it when I can watch it, I have no time/the last thing I want to do is waste what little time I do have reading, etc)
I wouldn't call being into sports or entertainment misplaced values though. I get what he's saying, but I think it's just as important to have those in your life as it is to read. The problem is most parents aren't encouraging their kids to read, especially when they're teens. I believe children follow by example. I'd much rather my kids sit down and use their imagination than zone out in front of the T.V. or a video game all day (which I will admit already goes on way to much) We do have our reading time and I hope once they get older and learn how to read on their own they will enjoy it a lot more.
Although in my house, neither parent read and I devour books. Maybe I'm adopted
Television is just a lazy way of reading. You can easily see it on the screen instead of reading the words and imagining it in your mind.
Yet... anyone who's read a book before seeing a movie, or read a book based on a tv show, you know that book gives more detail than the tv show and is ALWAYS better than the movie.
To Spin off on Butterflys reply.... my mother was always reading... many of the books I read as a teen I read as she gave them to me. I began reading romance mags like true story, I found them intriguing because it was about things I didnt know about at the time (yes I read without mom knowing.....) Also I believe a big part of my love for reading spawned from school.. we had the ... I can't even think of what its called... but it was like a challenge in our school.. you borrowed books from the library that had certain points... and you read them and took tests on them to gain your points. It was called something READER. God I guess I'm just old... lol
However I dont think reading is something someone does to GAIN INTELLIGENCE, though it does give you a wide variety of words. To me reading is like watching a show on TV but something to imagine in my own mind... I dunno... lol
As for a faster paced lifestyle... I dont really belive that either. IF you like to read you read. Perhaps you are raised that way or taught that way in school. I have a friend who works 12 hr shifts 4-5 days a week that reads during her breaks and lunches not to mention her home time. My friends and I when we can make time to get together, we almost always talk about what book we are reading. I guess it just depends on the person.
Thank you *Kiliki* for my gorgeous siggie!
Last edited by The Lesha; March 10th, 2010 at 10:16 PM.
I am really unhappy if I don't get at least a half an hour a day to read a little bit. I absolutely love to read and hate it when life gets to busy. I can't imagine going a year without picking up a book!