There’s a new study out that has compared the number of hours children read this year to last year, and the results aren’t good. The study has shown that children read 8% less than they did in 2012.
Activities such as game apps, YouTube and texting have gone significantly up, however. So, why have these technology-based habits overridden the act of reading? Is parenting to blame? Is education? Or this is simply the age of technology, in which reading has become archaic?
As an avid reader myself, I remember adoring the library and visiting it on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. I loved reading and my parents would even tell me I’m reading too much and that I should focus more on my homework than on the novel in my hand! So what has changed between my childhood (which isn’t that long ago) to today’s state of childhood?
Looking at this issue through the educator lens (with a background in teaching, and now, working as a school librarian), this disinterest in reading frightens me. If the assumption is true–that the fast-paced developments in technology are more alluring to children than books, then will reading cease to exist in 20, 30, 40 years? As technology becomes faster, better, greater, will books (in any form) become extinct?
These are questions we must pause and ponder, because reading, does make a HUGE difference in a person’s development. Reading empowers an individual in so many ways. It allows one to speak strongly, think clearly, and write beautifully. Reading is a gateway to wonderful expressions of oneself.
But with this study, it can be assumed that this simple, yet amazing activity can possibly die out one day.
What is the future of reading?