Value Of Reading

Riley Tomkiewicz, Staff Reporter

In the past, books were our biggest source of information and entertainment. They provided unlimited, unique points of view and vast stores of information. Before the age of digital technology, books were one of the only ways to stay educated and connected with the rest of the world. Not only that, but they were an enjoyable way to spend free time. However, these days, it’s  becoming more and more apparent that reading for fun just isn’t very common among teenagers. 

Whenever I pull out a book among my peers, I’m always met by a chorus of, “Wow, I can’t remember the last time I read a book,” or “The only time I ever read is when it’s been assigned by a teacher.” In class, teachers frequently remark on my reading and how rare it is to see a student ignore their phone in order to pick up a book. This shift away from books isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a sign of the changing times. 

A survey performed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress in late 2019 through early 2020 showed that only 19% of teenagers in the U.S. read for fun, and the number of teenagers who never or hardly ever read for fun has tripled since 1984. This makes me very sad. 

Reading books both for fun and to learn has been a central aspect of my life for many years. I was always the girl who loved to read, while everyone else was pursuing sports, art, music, any number of other things. Back then, plenty of other kids enjoyed reading just like I did. But these days, reading during down time seems to be becoming a thing of the past. I wish that this wasn’t a fact, and I hope some of you readers out there share the same sentiment. I know that with all of the chaos, noise, and drama of the world around us, finding an escape can be hard sometimes.

Books are an amazing way to travel to incredible places, real or fiction, and we all know that exploring new places can be quite difficult these days. I urge all of you reading this, who need some sort of break from the world, to try picking up a book once in a while. Even if sitting still, staring at a page of words seems like the least exciting thing you can do, I hope you’ll try it out sometime, because you might very well be pleasantly surprised.